On February 23, 2016, the Secretary General of Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM, Mr.Altai Efendiev, paid a working visit to Georgia.

During the working visit, the Secretary General met with Mr. David Jalagania, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the National Coordinator (hereinafter referred to as the NC) for GUAM from Georgia. This meeting also involved senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, who are concerned with issues related to GUAM.

At the beginning of the meeting, the NC congratulated the SG upon his appointment and wished him success in this position. The SGexpressed gratitude to Georgia for suchconfidence and provided assurances that he would make effort andapply his knowledge and experience in order to further develop and strengthen cooperation within GUAM, as well asexpanding international cooperation.

The Secretary General noted the contribution made by the first GUAM Secretary General, Ambassador V.K.Chechelashvili, in establishing and developing GUAM as an organization, and also expressed gratitude to Georgia for its active and consistent support for GUAM activities.

During the meeting, the SG informed the NC about the meetings held with the ambassadors of partner countries, and also about his working visit to Baku and consultations held there with the Chairman. He also spoke about the GUAM programme and priority areas of cooperation in 2016.

The Parties discussed the current situation for GUAM in detail, noted the need to strengthen cooperation between GUAM member-states against the background of ongoing processes in these member-states and around the region that are opening up new opportunities and prospects for the Organization.

In particular, the Parties noted the special importance of developing the GUAM transport corridor in the context of a new initiatives and changes in the Black and Caspian seas. The accent was made on necessity of faster realisation of the Agreement on free trade zone.

The Parties noted the necessity of utilizing all GUAM institutions in aims of giving the Organization impulse and dynamics, and also to strengthen the Secretariat’s capacity due to the representation of all member countries.

On the part of the Georgian NC, recommendations and suggestions were made to improve the efficiency of the Organization’ functioning and its working bodies, and also to develop and expand international cooperation.

After the meeting, a working dinner was held with representatives of the Embassies of GUAM member-states accredited in Georgia.