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Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Mike Pompeo in Washington, May 21, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/pg/KvirikashviliOfficial

Secretary Of State: U.S. Eager To Welcome Georgia To NATO

The United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, told the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili,  at the Plenary Session of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission in Washington on May 21 that “America’s support for Georgia remains strong and steadfast and will continue to do so.”

“President Trump stands by the 2008 Bucharest declaration and the United States looks forward to one day welcoming Georgia into NATO,” Pompeo underscored, adding that “an open society and a strong economy together are foundational elements for Georgia’s security,” and that “the rule of law, combined with an independent judiciary, accountable government, and respect for pluralism are essential for democratic and economic advancement.”

According to Pompeo, “to create an even more resilient democracy,” the U.S. encourages Georgia “to create opportunities for all voices to be heard in politics, in media, and to strengthen checks and balances in government institutions.”

Touching upon the tenth anniversary of “Russia’s invasion of Georgia,” Mike Pompeo said the U.S. “unequivocally condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgian soil,” and that “Russia’s forcible invasion of Georgia is a clear violation of international peace and security,” which goes against the basic principles of the international law.

Reiterating that the Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia “are integral parts of Georgia,” Pompeo stressed that the U.S. supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity with its internationally recognized borders.

“We call on Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to each of those two regions,” Mike Pompeo stated.

Highlighting that the U.S. and NATO “depend on strong, willing, resilient partners” to help safeguard the common security interests, Pompeo further noted that “Georgia is one of those steadfast partners,” that has “demonstrated its commitment to contribute to international security and uphold Western values.”

In his response, PM Kvirikashvili thanked Secretary Pompeo for his country’s “continued support,” through which “Georgia has consolidated its democracy, strengthened governmental institutions and created more opportunities for economic development not only for Georgia, but for the region as well.”

“As we approach the NATO Brussels Summit this year, we are looking to the reflection of the great progress we achieved on the NATO membership path. Georgia’s membership in NATO will be a clear added value for the Euro-Atlantic security,” the Georgian Prime Minister said.

PM Kvirikashvili is paying a visit to the United States on May 21-23. On the first day of his visit, he also met with the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Wess Mitchell, who visited Georgia last month. As part of his visit, Kvirikashvili will further meet with the U.S. executive officials, as well as the Congressmen, and attend events dedicated to Georgia’s centennial anniversary of restoration of statehood.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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