The US administration has weighed in with full support for the Georgian government led by Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili. US Prersident Barak Obama yesterday had an unscheduled meeting with Garibashvili, who is currently visiting the US as guest of Vice President Biden.
According to the White House website, President Obama joined Vice President Biden’s meeting at the White House, although it was not on his official Schedule. The President and Vice President both congratulated the Prime Minister for Georgia’s success in completing the country’s first peaceful, democratic transition of power, and urged the Prime Minister to continue working with all of Georgia’s leaders and with civil society to advance the rule of law and to consolidate Georgia’s significant democratic achievements.
They also thanked Georgia for being a valued friend and reliable partner in supporting our most challenging regional and global priorities. In doing so, the President expressed the United States’ deep appreciation for Georgia’s significant contributions to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and honored the sacrifices made by Georgian soldiers and their families.
The President and Prime Minister further discussed opportunities for strengthening U.S.-Georgia strategic cooperation, including on increasing trade and investment ties between our two economies.
The President and Vice President also reaffirmed the United States’ strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. They also assured the Prime Minister that the Georgian people had the United States’ unwavering support as they pursue their Euro-Atlantic aspirations and pledged continued U.S. assistance to help the new Georgian government as it pursues political, economic, and defence reforms.
Commonspace.eu political editor said that the meeting comes at a critical moment given the ongoing events in Ukraine. After a moment of hesitation it seems that both the EU and the US have now decided that they will take a stand in the face of Russian pressure on countries in the Eurasia region. Both Georgia and Moldova are perceived as being particularly vulnerable given that they will later this year join in an Association Agreement with the European Union despîte Russian opposition.
The meeting has already been welcomed in Georgia by a broad spectrum of society, and sends a clear message to Russia of western support for Georgia.
photo: Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House. (picture courtesy of the White House Press office)