Foreign Minister Janelidze: US is Georgia’s Top Strategic Partner

Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia Mikheil Janelidze stated that the United States is Georgia’s main strategic partner, adding the government is doing its best to intensify relations with the US.

Janelidze made the statement at the joint hearing of the Parliament’s Diaspora, European Integration and Foreign Relations committees on December 20.

The minister positively assessed the dynamics of Georgia-US strategic cooperation, adding Georgia's aim is to ensure bi-party support from the United States towards Georgia’s development, democracy consolidation, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Euro-Atlantic integration.

"Deepening cooperation with the United States, our main strategic partner, is a highly important issue for the government and Foreign Ministry," Janelidze said.

The Minister explained that through the active efforts of both parties, unprecedented active steps were quickly made with the new US administration and Congress. He said that the regular visits of the Prime Minister, ministers and parliamentarians, and meetings with American colleagues, including his own, have taken place within a very short period.

Janelidze spoke about the importance of the visit of US Vice-President Mike Pence to Georgia this summer, adding it was a “clear demonstration of US political support towards Georgia.”

The Minister said that in the recent period, much progress had been made in mutual relations between Georgia and the US, including the decision to submit defensive weapons to Georgia; the agreement on cooperation in secret information protection; the promotion of Georgia's Defense Readiness Program (GDRP); the deepening of cooperation in terms of trade and investment; and the involvement of American companies in large infrastructure projects.

“The work will continue with regard to the involvement of American companies in such projects, as well as in raising the interest of American small and medium businesses towards Georgia. Cooperation with US academic circles, NGOs and research organizations and media will continue to be active,” Janelidze announced.

The Foreign Minister mentioned the legislative act signed by US President Donald Trump in May, which states that Georgia’s breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, have been occupied by Russia.

The legislative act also imposes restrictions on US funding for any state that does not recognize Georgia's territorial integrity and prohibits US representatives in international financial institutions from supporting programs that violate Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Janleidze also spoke about the importance of Georgia’s joining NATO, saying this will ensure the strengthening of Georgia’s security and the stable development of the country.

“Joining NATO is a crucial objective of Georgia's foreign and security policy,” the Minister said, adding that Georgia will continue its aspirations towards the Alliance through implementation of undertaken obligations and carrying out of important reforms.

Thea Morrison

21 December 2017 20:05