"The visit of the UK’s Secretary of State to Georgia is especially important in view of the challenges facing the region and is an expression of strong support once again confirming the existing strategic partnership between our two countries and clearly demonstrating Britain’s growing involvement in our region" - the Minister of Foreign Affairs said during the press conference following his meeting with the UK’s Secretary of State.
As Ilia Darchiashvili noted, discussions during the meeting focused on a wide range of bilateral relations and strategic cooperation, based on the historical ties between the two countries.
The Minister emphasized the United Kingdom’s strong support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for the non-recognition policy with respect to the occupied territories. Ilia Darchiashvili highlighted the UK’s role in implementing Georgia's democratic transformation and reform agenda, and in strengthening the country's cyber resilience in the era of hybrid threats.
According to the minister, the sides paid special attention to the the importance of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue. Special emphasis was put on the opportunities to strengthen economic relations and contribute to defense and security cooperation, as well as people-to-people contacts.
The sides also discussed the issues relating to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia’s progress achieved in this direction was emphasized. Darchiashvili thanked his counterpart for the United Kingdom’s commitment to Georgia’s NATO aspirations and its engagement in the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia package. He welcomed the role of the United Kingdom as a NATO contact embassy. The foreign ministers of the two countries also focused on the Black Sea region’s growing importance in terms of security, economy and energy.
Special mention was taken of Georgia’s special role in ensuring European energy security. The importance of Georgia as a transit and logistics regional hub was also noted.
Talking points also included the current security environment in the region, which has worsened significantly as a result of Russia's full-scale military aggression against Ukraine. It was noted that Georgia was the first country to experience Russia's aggression and its consequences.
On 16 and 17 March 2023, the UK Secretary of State, James Cleverley paid an official visit to Georgia.
It should be noted that after 2016, this is the first visit of the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom to Georgia.