On February 19, Chris Socha, Staff Director of U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arrived in Tbilisi to hold talks concerning the current political environment in Georgia with Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and other government officials, political party leaders, Speaker of the Parliament and other MPs, as well as representatives civil society and international non-governmental organizations.
As stated in a press release, Socha reiterated U.S.’s commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic integration in all of his meetings. Socha also raised the situation in occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region.
Staff Director discussed concerns about “a weakening of Georgian democracy and governance”, carrying “a clear message” from Committee Chairman, Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) that the U.S. supports Georgia’s democratic development. However, press release stressed, “the institutions of government must respect everyone’s political rights and continue to strengthen the checks and balances that ensure power is properly constrained.”