Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvilli to visit Turkey

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will visit Turkey today to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss ongoing regional

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Photo: Government of Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will visit Turkey today to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss ongoing regional cooperation.

Turkey and Georgia maintain one of the strongest relationships in the Caucasus. Ankara is Tbilisi’s largest trading partner and the two maintain a free trade agreement. They also collaborate closely on energy, with multiple joint strategic gas and oil projects.

The relationship also serves a strategic security purpose. Georgia remains one of the few pro-Western Caucasian states and is frequently a target of Russian aggression and subversion, especially in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A NATO member, Turkey has advocated for Georgia’s admission to the alliance.

During the visit, expect the two to focus on increasing cooperation to counter Russia’s growing regional presence. Garibashvili will likely reaffirm backing for the Namakhvani Hydro Power Plant—a hydroelectric plant under construction by Turkish company ENKA—as Georgia seeks greater energy independence from Russia.

Georgian security concerns are high after the recent Nagorno-Karabakh war saw the regional encroachment of Russian forces as peacekeepers. Expect Georgia to request that Turkey reaffirm support for its NATO candidacy, which Turkey is likely to oblige, especially ahead of NATO’s upcoming June 14 summit.

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