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Georgian PM: Free Trade Agreement with US Will Be Step Forward

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, September 21
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze says that Georgia and the United States have a very good economic cooperation, adding free trade agreement could be a step forward in this direction.

The PM made the statement in his interview with Fox News Channel.

“Georgia is a gateway to eight countries – 2 from South Caucasus and five states from Central Asia plus Afghanistan. And also it is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world,” he said, adding Georgia would like to see more American businessmen and investors in the country.

In addition to economic cooperation, Bakhtadze also spoke about US-Georgia strategic and political partnership, adding under President Trump administration the US-Georgia security Cooperation is enhancing at it has never been as strong as now.

“Georgia’s relationship with the United States is at an all-time high and we do appreciate this,” he stated.

Georgian Prime Minister also pointed out that he is 'encouraged' by President Trump's 'dialogue' with Putin.

Bakhtadze says Trump’s decision to have a dialogue with Russia is a good decision, adding there is no other alternative.

“But we should also take into consideration the regional context as well because a turbulence is growing but the direct interaction with Russia on the highest level possible I think it is really very positive and fruitful,” he said.

“Under President Trump administration the US-Georgia security Cooperation is enhancing at it has never been as strong as now and we truly appreciate this,” Bakhtadze added.

According to the PM, Georgia’s main problem and challenge is its territorial integrity.

“Russia occupied 20% of Georgian territory and still continues its aggressive policy…It occupies two historical regions of Georgia…Many locals had to leave their homes because of this,” he said.

According to Bakhtadze, the Georgian government’s aim is a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but added that “Russia is still trying to undermine these peaceful initiatives.”

“If Georgia joins NATO this will make the region more predictable and sustainable, which is in the best interests of Russia,” he added.

The PM also noted that Georgia actively participates in peacekeeping missions and it is the largest non-NATO contributor to the global security.