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US State Secretary: We Stand with Georgia as partners, friends, and one Day as NATO Allies

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 23
(WASHINTON)--The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo told the Georgian Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Washington on Monday that his county continues to stand with Georgia as partners, friends, and one day as NATO allies as well.

“As Vice President Pence said during his visit to Tbilisi last July, we're with you, we stand with you, we are proud of our friendship and strategic partnership with the nation and the people of Georgia,” Pompeo stated.

The State Secretary started his speech by mentioning of Russia’s occupation of Georgia’s historic lands.

“2018 marks the tenth anniversary of Russia's invasion of Georgia. The United States unequivocally condemns Russia's occupation on Georgian soil. Russia's forcible invasion of Georgia is a clear violation of international peace and security and goes against the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Helsinki Final Act,” Pompeo said.

He stated that Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia and that the United States supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity with its internationally recognized borders.

“We call on Russia to fulfil all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to each of those two regions,” Pompeo stated.

Pompeo also stated that Georgia is one of the steadfast partners of NATO and the US.

“Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to contribute to international security and uphold Western values. Georgia is the largest non-NATO state troop contributor to Afghanistan, serving without any caveats about the duty - 32 Georgia soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of peace and stability there,” he said and added that the US honours Georgia's sacrifice and “we are deeply grateful for Georgia's steadfast support on this important joint mission”.

The Georgian PM told Pompeo that his government sees the “great potential” to strengthen the two countries’ relations further in line with the strategic interests of both countries.

“Thanks to the US's continued support, Georgia has consolidated its democracy, strengthened governmental institutions, and created more opportunities for economic development not only for Georgia but for the region as well. We are proud to be in the list of top reformer countries of the world and the US is a proud shareholder of this success,” Kvirikashvili stated.

He said that Georgia highly values sustained and unequivocal US support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“Our nations share the goal of preserving peace and stability around the world. We continue to fight terrorism shoulder-to-shoulder with each other in Afghanistan, where both countries suffered significant casualties,” Kvirikashvili said.

Kvirikashvili stated that Georgia has made significant progress in enhancing NATO interoperability.

“We are already exceeding the NATO standard of spending 2% of our GDP on defence budget, including more than 20% on the equipment. We are pleased to have the opportunity to buy the US military defence equipment,” Kvirikashvili said.

The Georgian PM ends his US trip today.