German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Tbilisi, Georgia, on August 23. Her visit marked a decade after a Russia-Georgia war led to Moscow-backed regions breaking away from the Caucasus nation.
“During my last visit to Georgia 10 years ago, I demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops,” Merkel said at a news conference in the Georgian capital on the first leg of a three-day trip to the South Caucasus.
Today, “of course, I am standing by Georgia’s territorial integrity,” she added.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Merkel last visited Georgia in August 2008, a few days after an EU-brokered ceasefire ended Russia and Georgia’s armed conflict over the Moscow-backed breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions.
On August 24, Merkel is scheduled to travel to Armenia. On August 25, she is slated to visit Azerbaijan, where she will encourage “a peaceful and consensual solution” to the two countries’ long-running territorial conflict over the Nagorny Karabakh region, her office said.
Also, Merkel will reportedly discuss energy cooperation with Azerbaijan, which is seen as an alternative to Russian supplies of natural gas and oil to Europe.