TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament Thursday evening voted unanimously for a resolution that says the country aims to join the EU and NATO and defines the EU and the US as its ‘top strategic partners.’
This comes after a period in which President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party has been trying to spread doubt about the new Ivanishvili government’s sincerity in carrying on the staunchly pro-NATO foreign policy course the Caucasus nation embarked on after the Rose Revolution in 2003.
Regarding Russia, the document states that Georgia’s interest toward the Russian Federation is ‘to settle conflict, establish and develop good neighborly relations’.
Also, according to the adopted text, ‘Georgia shall not have diplomatic relations and be in any military-political or customs alliance with the states that recognize the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia’ clearly referring to the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia. In both of them the Russian Federation, which recognized Georgian breakaway republics in the wake of 2008 August war plays a leading role.
In the 19-point resolution there is also a reference to the ‘significance of extending bilateral, political and economic relations with neighboring Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia,’ active partnership with the Baltic States and ‘deepening relations with the states of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries.’
The document defines the top priorities of Georgia’s foreign policy as the development of its security guarantees, defending its independence and sovereignty, and ending the occupation of its territories.
The United National Movement and Georgian Dream, the two competing political forces in Georgia, have been involved in a fierce debate over the document for several weeks.
The proposed cross faction agreement had the form of a resolution, which parliament eventually adopted. The draft of the resolution was Thursday presented to parliament. Both parties were involved in the process of preparing it and the original fourteen-point agreement became a 19-point resolution.
The third clause of the document is what the UNM has been demanding to have as a guarantee that the main priority of the country’s foreign policy is European and Euro-Atlantic integration and that every Georgian government shall adhere to this course regardless of what political camp it represents.
After agreeing upon this principle the UNM demanded to specify the international organizations which Georgia will not join, keeping in mind the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States and the customs union.
After the resolution was adopted, Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili said that the preparing of it and the final result has significance not only for Georgia’s foreign policy but also represent a good example of cooperation between political foes.