By Ria Novosti
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States is considering the possibility of a free trade agreement with Georgia.
Obama met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the White House on Monday to discuss the ways to boost bilateral trade.
“Obviously there is a lot of work to be done and there are going to be a lot of options that are going to be explored,” Obama said after the meeting, adding that a free trade pact was one of these options.
“The key point…is we think it is a win-win for the United States and for Georgia as we continue to find opportunities for businesses to invest in Georgia, for us to be able to sell Georgia our goods and services, and Georgia to be able to sell theirs as well,” the president said.
Washington continues to back Tbilisi in its row with Moscow over former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The United States has repeatedly called for “the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity.”
Obama thanked Mikheil Saakashvili for his country’s participation in NATO-led international peace efforts in Afghanistan.
Georgia, which is actively seeking NATO membership, joined the international U.S.-led coalition fighting the Afghan insurgency in August of 2009.
Saakashvili’s visit to Washington comes ahead of a NATO summit in Chicago, where the Northern alliance is expected to resume the discussion of Georgia’s membership in the organization.
Georgia’s NATO bid was turned down due to pressure from Germany and France at a 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.
Obama reiterated on Monday that Washington supports Georgian aspirations to join the alliance.