In a letter to Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani dated September 15, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he shares Zalkaliani’s “focus on ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and transparent, in line with international standards and best practices.”
Pompeo’s missive comes in response to FM Zalkaliani’s invitation letter to send a U.S. observation mission to Georgia’s October 31 parliamentary elections.
“A level playing field; rigorous implementation of electoral reforms; and respect for human rights and the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and assembly are vital – both on election day and in the pre- and post-election periods,” top U.S. diplomat said.
Pompeo expressed his support towards OSCE/ODIHR’s recommendation to deploy a full-size observation mission of 28 long-term and 350 short-term observers, adding that the Department of State will seek U.S. volunteers to join the mission. Secretary of State also noted that U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi will coordinate with the Georgian CEC to arrange observation by the Embassy’s teams.
U.S. Secretary of State then stated that he “appreciate[s] everything that the Government of Georgia has done to encourage and facilitate the safe arrival of international visitors.”
“We remain committed to helping Georgia implement reforms that consolidate your democratic institutions and strengthen your democratic processes,” Pompeo concluded.