The Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, Bonnie Jenkins, held separate meetings on 7 October with the Minister of Defense, Juansher Burchuladze, and the Minister of Finance, Lasha Khutsishvili.
- 07/10/2022 – President Zurabishvili Meets Undersecretary Jenkins
The Ministry of Defense reported that while meeting with Undersecretary Jenkins, Minister Burchuladze emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership between Georgia and the U.S. “for the protection of common values and strengthening of common security interests.”
In that context, the sides discussed how to increase the capabilities of the Georgian Defense Forces by examining implemented reforms, steps taken in terms of armament and equipment renewal, and future plans.
On the subject of cooperation, the discussion also brought attention to the Georgian Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative (GDDEI), which the U.S. and Georgia recently signed.
Meeting with Finance Minister
The Finance Ministry reported that while meeting with Undersecretary Jenkins, Minister Khutsishvili discussed programs that the Ministry successfully implemented to strengthen the capabilities of the Revenue Service.
The two sides also highlighted the ongoing cooperation between the Georgian Revenue Service and the U.S.’s Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) program.
While looking ahead to future cooperation, Minister Khutsishvili informed the Undersecretary about ongoing and planned reforms in the Ministry, as well as progress on enforcing international sanctions.
Undersecretary Jenkins is visiting Tbilisi on October 5-7 to attend the Biosafety Association for Central Asia and the Caucasus (BACAC) Regional Conference in Tbilisi. After addressing the conference yesterday, she told reporters that when she meets with members of the Georgian government, she will deliver “a message of strong support from Washington for the tremendous work Ambassador [Kelly] Degnan and her Embassy team have done to help advance Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”
The Undersecretary of State highlighted that the attacks against the U.S. Ambassador in Georgia are part of “a bigger pattern of disinformation aimed at obscuring the truth and the realities of the current crisis in Europe that one man has created.”