President Duda: I am an advocate of Georgia's full NATO membership
"I am an advocate of Georgia's full NATO membership, the doors of the Alliance should remain open, President Andrzej Duda said in Tbilisi on Tuesday after talks with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili.
President Andrzej Duda met on Tuesday with President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The talks focused, among others, on NATO. After the talks, Presidents Duda and Margvelashvili signeg a joint declaration devoted to bringing Georgia closer to the EU and to the country's territorial integrity.
President Margvelashvili thanked the Polish president for his declaration of support. He emphasised that Georgia would continue talks on its EU aspirations with the Member States.
"There are countries that perfectly understand the specifics of Georgia and in its context fully understand the nature of the challenges facing the EU and NATO", he said. In his view, these states do comprehend that if there is no explicit response to the challenges, as the example of Georgia shows, they may turn into serious problems.
The President of Poland underscored that on every possible occasion he reiterated the doors of the Alliance "must remain open to all those who want to belong to this great Western community, the community of peace".
He added that Georgia was a loyal NATO partner which at every turn showed it was worthy of the Alliance's membership because it acted like the Member States.
"The problem of Georgia's future membership in NATO is also politically complex for obvious reasons, but Georgia has a strategic position in terms of geopolitics, and I am convinced that sooner or later it will be in NATO and is to become a full member of the Alliance", President Duda said.
"I am an advocate of Georgia's full NATO membership and as the president of Poland I will always support Georgia in this respect", Andrzej Duda stressed. He added that Poland also supported Georgia's efforts to integrate with the European Union.
The Polish president expressed his hope that his visit would give a new impetus to Polish-Georgian relations.
In his statement President Duda devoted a lot of attention to economic relations between the countries admitting they were "not the best" and that we had a huge deficit compared to the capacities. "The potential of both countries is very large while the current trade exchange is very modest. There is a huge field for joint activity", he emphasised.
President Duda suggested the need to open the Polish Trade and Investment Agency's office in Georgia to support Polish entrepreneurs in investing there. He also proposed organising a joint business forum.
Giorgi Margvelashvili said he also hoped that close political relations would translate into increased trade between the two countries.
The Georgian president remembered former late President Lech Kaczynski. "The Polish president stood by our side", he stressed.
The Polish president called his Georgian visit "following the path set out in the political sense by Professor Lech Kaczynski".
Andrzej Duda thanked Georgian President for remembering Lech Kaczynski, who "was a great friend of Georgia". He reminded that in 2008, when Georgia was attacked by Russia, President Lech Kaczynski did not hesitate to gather Central Europe leaders in Tbilisi in order to "stand together and say 'no' to that hostile, treacherous attack".
The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Poland and Georgia. On this occasion, the presidents of both countries signed a joint declaration on deepening cooperation. (PAP)