U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Georgia on November 17-18, as part of his lengthy trip to France, Turkey and Israel, as well as three Gulf Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, the top U.S. diplomat announced on November 10.
Elaborating on the details of the visit, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement of November 10 that Pompeo will hold meetings with President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani. The top U.S. diplomat will also meet with Georgian Orthodox Church leader Ilia II.
Looking forward to the upcoming visit of @SecPompeo to 🇬🇪. This visit is reiteration of all time high status of🇬🇪🇺🇸strategic partnership. In the framework of the visit we will discuss the geopolitical situation in the region as well as our coop in defense & security.
— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) November 10, 2020
Pompeo’s visit comes as all of the Georgian opposition parties are rejecting the results of the October 31 parliamentary elections and refusing to enter the new parliament.
“High-level meetings within the scope of the Secretary of State’s visit will focus on the priorities under the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, as well as on prospects for further enhancing cooperation in the areas of defense and security, trade and economy, democracy, people-to-people contacts, education and cultural exchanges,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry stressed.
The Ministry noted that “the parties will discuss the security environment in Georgia and the wider region and will highlight cooperation between the countries as a way to further strengthen regional and international security.” It added that the top U.S. diplomat’s visit will also focus “the democratic and economic reforms taking place in Georgia.”
“The visit provides yet another proof that the United States remains strongly committed to supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the country’s continuous democratic development and European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia concluded.
According to the U.S. State Department background briefing, Secretary Pompeo’s visit will be an opportunity to reaffirm U.S. support to “Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.” He will also meet Georgian civil society representatives, to hear their views on rule of law and judicial independence.