Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, today issued the statement in support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), U.S. founded organizations that faced strong criticism from Georgia’s ruling party chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili recently.
Congressman Engel stressed that both, NDI and IRI work with all political parties in Georgia without taking sides in Georgian politics. “In Georgia they work closely with partners across the political spectrum, including the ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition parties. They do not choose sides or support particular political outcomes,” Engel stated.
Chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee then urged his “friends in Georgia” to “continue partnering with organizations like NDI and IRI to advance Georgian citizens’ aspirations for a more democratic, sovereign, and prosperous future.”
Congressman Engel also underlined that “I have supported Congress’s investment in Georgia’s democracy and civil society, including through the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI),” adding that “these organizations have worked with a range of partners to support democratic institutions worldwide.”
“Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Georgia has made tremendous strides forward developing democracy and the rule of law—values at the core of America’s partnership with that country,” congressman Engel said, adding that “the Georgian people remain on the front line against Vladimir Putin’s aggression, as Russia continues to occupy Georgia’s territory to this day.”
“The U.S. Congress stands with the people of Georgia, and I will continue to do all I can to support democracy and civil society in Georgia,” Congressman Engel concluded.