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Foreign Minister Completes U.S. Visit

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Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, visited the United States on February 4-9, to participate in the ministerial of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS on February 6. On the sidelines of the meeting, Zalkaliani met high-ranking U.S. officials and legislators.

“Georgia as the U.S. closest partner and member of coalition is committed to ensure peace and security in the world, which is top priority of the Government of Georgia as well,” Minister Zalkaliani wrote on his Twitter page following the ministerial, noting that at the meeting he declared about “all steps and efforts” that Georgia takes “to prevent threats of terrorism.”

While in Washington D.C. FM Zalkaliani met U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson, to discuss U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership.

“Georgia continues to be an important ally in regional stability and defense cooperation,” Thompson said.

According to Georgian Foreign Ministry, on February 8 Minister Zalkaliani discussed with President Donald Trump’s Advisor Fiona Hill, “all the aspects of strategic partnership,” including the possibility of signing free trade agreement.

Resolution in support of Georgia tabled in Congress

On the Hill, the Georgian FM met with American congressmen and senators, including the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D), on February 7 who, FM Zalkaliani believes, “remains committed to further deepening” U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership.

He also met Congressmen Brad Sherman (D), Steve Chabot (R), David Perdue (R), James Risch (R), Ron Johnson (R), Bill Flores (R) and Francis Rooney (R).

The latter is the co-sponsor of the bi-partisan resolution, together with Rep. Gerald Connolly (D), Brian Fitzpatrick (R) and Joe Wilson (R), introduced by Rep. Rooney in the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 30, which:

1) recognizes Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and reaffirms that the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, currently occupied by the Russian Federation, are territories of Georgia; and

(2) condemns the decision by the Syrian Arab Republic, which is a client state of the Russian Federation, to recognize the independence of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

FM Zalkaliani thanked Congressman Rooney for his unwavering support.

Venezuela angle

During his visit, the Georgian Foreign Minister also discussed with Carlos Vecchio – the representative of Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaido – the possibilities for developing bilateral ties, with “full respect of international law and sovereignty of both countries.”

The Foreign Ministry has quoted Vecchio saying his government intends to “open relations with Georgia” and recognize it “as the only country which has sovereignty over these territories”.

Venezuela is currently among a few countries, which recognize Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region as independent states.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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