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At the meeting with the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, developments in Georgia and in the whole region at large were discussed. The head of state of Georgia confirmed that the state would continue progressing with reforms. The achievements of Estonia had been a great inspiration and example for the reorganisations in the society. The President of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma stressed the need for coherence of the society, the importance of cooperation of the ruling coalition and the opposition in making the decisions necessary for the development of the state. 

In the conversation with the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia David Bakradze, cooperation of the parliaments and further plans were discussed. Bakradze expressed thanks for the help which Estonia had provided in the organising of the training of Georgian parliament officials. The Chairman of the Georgian Parliament also gave an overview of topical issues in the parliament and preparations for the parliamentary elections due this autumn. 

The Chairman of the Riigikogu acknowledged the success that Georgia had achieved during the last seven years in combating corruption and in democratisation of the state. “Democracy is like a living organism which requires constant attention and development. Democracy is a process with which you grow together. It is easy to wallow in the comfort zone. My request to our Georgian friends is: do not get tired! Many people from post-Soviet countries are looking towards you. Georgia’s responsibility in the development of democratic processes is not confined only to its own people.” 

At the meeting with Prime Minster Nika Gilauri, bilateral relations were the primary topic, and the head of the Georgian Government also introduced to the Estonian delegation the recently compiled ten year development plan of the state. The parties positively acknowledged the new impulses in the cooperation between the states that would emerge in connection with the air service between Tallinn and Tbilisi to be opened in spring. The head of the Georgian Government expressed an interest in the continuation of Estonia-Georgia joint projects, in particular in the high-tech and IT fields. The Prime Minster also expressed a wish to increase the number of Georgian students studying at Estonian institutions of higher education. 

The President of the Riigikogu also had separate meetings with the Vice Chairmen of the Georgian Parliament, heads of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, representatives of the non-governmental organisations operating in Georgia, and opposition politicians. The Riigikogu delegation also visited the easternmost region of Georgia, Sighnaghi district. 

The President of the Riigikogu is accompanied on the visit to Georgia by the Vice-President Jüri Ratas, Members of the Riigikogu Maret Maripuu, Marko Pomerants and Karel Rüütli, and the Secretary General of the Riigikogu Heiki Sibul.

The Riigikogu Press Service