(Civil.Ge) — Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, who is visiting United States on June 5-14, met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to U.S.-Georgia “strategic partnership,” discussed NATO-Georgia relations, Georgia’s domestic reforms as well as regional security cooperation, according to U.S. Department of State.
Secretary Pompeo also “reiterated U.S. condemnation of the occupation and steadfast support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
In his press remarks following the meeting, Mike Pompeo said Georgia “has fought to maintain its territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression, and Russia’s unlawful occupation of the Georgian territory, and its failure to adhere to ceasefire obligations.”
“Russia’s belligerence is just one reason we’re proud of our military to support to the Georgia Defense Readiness Program. We are helping train and equip a self-sufficient force that will ensure Georgia’s territorial defense,” Pompeo said.
He further noted that this will “provide greater security for the region as a whole – which is good for Georgia, good for the United States, and good for the entire world.”
According to Secretary Pompeo, at the meeting with Bakhtadze he “encouraged Georgia’s ongoing effort to improve its judicial system, and to make sure its democracy includes free and fair elections.”
In his remarks, the U.S. Secretary of State, among others, referred to the Anaklia Port as well saying he hopes Georgia completes the port project.
“The project and others will enhance Georgia’s relationship with free economies and prevent Georgia from falling prey to Russian or Chinese economic influence. Those pretended friends do not have Georgia’s best interests at heart”, he stated.
On his part, PM Bakhtadze underscored that “the level of security coordination between U.S. and Georgia has never been stronger,” and that “Georgia is America’s loyal partner in the global stage.”
Our friendship is time-tested and our bonds are forged in combat. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. and NATO allies in Afghanistan, where Georgia is one of the largest troop contributors to the Resolute Support Mission,” Bakhtadze stated.
The Georgian Prime Minister also spoke of economic relations between the two countries and hoped that strategic partnership with U.S. will lead “to a unique model of trade cooperation” opening “enormous opportunities for the American business interests in our region.” “We must have a strong national economy to match our strong national security,” he stated. Secretary Pompeo and Prime Minister Bakhtadze also formally opened the 10th anniversary plenary of U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission and issued a joint declaration, marking the anniversary.
The Georgian Prime Minister started his U.S trip on June 5, holding meetings in San Francisco, Seattle, Canada and Washington D.C.. PM Bakhtadze will conclude his visit in Dallas on June 14.