On January 21, 2016, the Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM, Mr. Altai Efendiev, was received by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Ukraine, Mr. Mikheil Ukleba.

During a long and detailed conversation, which was open and constructive, the Parties discussed issues related to GUAM activities in detail, including improvements in its efficiency, expansion and deepening of cooperation within the Organization’s framework, as well as developing GUAM’s international cooperation.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Secretary General emphasised and expressed appreciation for the contribution to the establishment and development of GUAM as an organisation and, in particular, the GUAM Secretariat, that has been made by the first GUAM Secretary General and Ambassador Valeri Chechelashvili. Mr. Altai Efendiev also provided assurances that he would make efforts to maintain and further the progress of the Organization’s development.

The Parties noted the growing importance and relevance that GUAM, as an organization, has been acquiring in light of new initiatives and developments occurring in the region. In this regard, the Parties stressed the need to more adequately respond to new opportunities for the sake of GUAM’s development. In this context, the officials noted the importance of development and the meaningful Concept of the GUAM Transport Corridor, and the prompt completion and implementation of the Agreement on establishing a free trade area, as well as other economic projects and initiatives.

In order to effectively use the Organization’s existing potential and opportunities, and also to ensure additional dynamics to increase the weight and international authority of GUAM, the Parties stressed the importance of the proper functioning and interaction of all structural bodies of the Organization. In this context, the Parties noted the role of the institution of the Council of Permanent Representatives and reaffirmed their commitment to close cooperation within this framework.

The Secretary General emphasised the important coordinating role being played by the GUAM Secretariat, as well as the necessity of enhancing its capacity and professionalism. In this regard, they noted importance of the representation of all member states at the GUAM Secretariat.

The Secretary General expressed his gratitude to Mr. Mikheil Ukleba and, on his part, to all officials of Georgia for their active participation and their consistent and constructive support for GUAM, which is expressed in the regular and active participation of Georgian officials at all levels of cooperation in both the GUAM and GUAM + formats, as well as at other multilateral formats. The Parties expressed hope for the continuation and strengthening of such cooperation.

At the end of the conversation, the Parties also discussed issues related to upcoming working visit of the GUAM Secretary General to Georgia for the purpose of holding consultations.