Stefan Fule and Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi 2013-07-09

Štefan Füle (left), European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, and President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. (Photo published on Saakashvili’s Facebook page.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, is in Georgia and has met with the president and members of the parliamentary opposition.

After meeting with President Mikheil Saakshvili, the EU’s enlargement expert said the two had discussed what has been achieved as a result of the cooperation so far and expressed hope that in the near future several issues concerning economic integration will be resolved. One of the outstanding issues which are being negotiated about is visa free travel.

The commissioner also addressed the detentions of former government officials and members of the National Movement party. The justice process must be free from political interference, he said, but there must not be a culture of impunity.

“My expectation is that state institutions will be respected and they will not be used as an instrument for political purposes,” he said during a press conference after the meeting.

Later on Tuesday, Füle visited the National Movement to meet with Davit Bakradze and Giorgi Baramidze, both of whom are candidates in a primary election within the party to select a candidate for the presidential election on October 27.

During his visit to Georgia, the European commissioner will also meet with the prime minister, the foreign minister and other government officials.

He is also slated to meet with parliamentarians July 11-12 in Batumi at the 10th international conference for EU’s Eastern European neighborhood policy, a conference called “Georgia’s European Way: EU’s Eastern European Partners – Towards the Vilnius Summit” in reference to the Eastern Partnership conference in the Lithuanian capital in November.