Georgian FM Comments on U.S. Lawmakers’ Letter to Kerry

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said that a letter of four U.S. lawmakers to Secretary of State John Kerry, calling for using “full diplomatic resources” to respond “emerging crisis” in Georgia, was apparently caused by lack of information about actual developments in Georgia.

“We respect the statement of the U.S. congressmen and we appreciate our good relations with the United States,” Panjikidze told journalists on February 16. “I think that congressmen’s statement is caused by the fact that they do not possess full information about Georgia, or the information they have been provided with is not accurate. It would be my pleasure to invite these congressmen and others interested with Georgia and those for whom relations between Georgia and the United States are important to visit Georgia and find out situation on the ground and see how democracy develops here.”

In a letter to the Secretary of State, dated February 15, four members of the House of Representatives express “gravest concern over recent developments” in Georgia, which, they say, jeopardize country’s continued commitment to democratization, reported the Washington-based congressional newspaper, The Hill, on February 15.

“The developments in Georgia, which include the investigations and arrests of former government officials and civil servants, require the immediate attention of the United States,” reads the letter signed by Republican congressmen Michael Turner; Mario Diaz-Balart; Bill Shuster and Democratic congresswoman Allyson Schwartz; the two latter are co-chairs of the Congressional Georgia Caucus.

“We ask that you take steps to affirm the United States interests in a free and democratic Georgia. We encourage you to utilize the full diplomatic resources of the State Department to respond to this emerging crisis,” says the letter to the U.S. Secretary of State.

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