OREANDA-NEWS President Kersti Kaljulaid began her state visit to Georgia today. At her meeting with the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Head of State confirmed our continued support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and its efforts to join the European Union and NATO.

"Estonia has always supported Georgia's endeavours towards joining the European Union and NATO, and we will continue to do so in the future. Our histories share many common features and it is our duty to prevent the European Union from closing its doors and driving away, leaving others behind. However, we expect the countries concerned to be willing and ready to change and develop. It is a bit complicated to achieve this in a situation where a fifth of a country is occupied; however, Georgia will continue down the road of democratic freedoms and values," said President Kaljulaid after the meeting with her Georgian colleague.

The Head of State also emphasised the need for international public support to acknowledge the territorial integrity of Georgia: "Nine years ago in Georgia and three years ago in Ukraine, an attack was launched against the value-based security architecture in general – these were not just attacks on the futures of two countries. We must not forget it; the international community must not grow tired and take this as a done deal. The hopes of Georgia won't be quashed and I'm quite sure that one day, Georgia will get its window of opportunity." The two heads of state also signed a joint declaration; the text of the declaration (in English) is available here.

The state visit will continue today with the meeting with the Catholicos Patriarch of all Georgia, Ilia II. Tomorrow the Head of State will meet with the Prime Minister and Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, pay a visit to a women's shelter and to development programme projects. In addition, the Head of State will visit two real estate development projects, based on Estonian investments.

The President of the Republic and Mr Georgi-Rene Maksimovski will be on a state visit to Georgia from today to Thursday. The delegation also includes the Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, Kadri Simson, Minister of Culture, Indrek Saar, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Riigikogu, Marko Mihkelson, and a member of the Committee of European Affairs, Kalle Palling, Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Riho Terras. The Head of State is also accompanied by a business delegation of 33 members.