Biden reaffirms US support for Georgia
By Temuri Kiguradze
Friday, July 24
US Vice President Joe Biden has stated that his visit to Georgia is a “signal of support” from America. The visit is an “unequivocal, clear, simple message to all who will listen and some who don't want to listen, that America stands with you and will continue to stand” with Georgia, stated Biden in Tbilisi on July 22.
Speaking at a reception hosted by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday, Joe Biden added that Georgia is a “vital partner in the progress that we [the US] seek in Europe and beyond.”
Vice President Biden delivered a speech in the Georgian Parliament on July 23 stating the US’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty. "We, the United States, stand by you on your journey to a secure, free, democratic and once again united Georgia," stated Biden, noting that "We will not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and we urge the world not to recognise them as independent states." Biden’s speech was televised live on the main Georgian TV stations and his appearance in Parliament was greeted with applause by MPs, this applause interrupting Biden several times during his speech. Biden also promised Georgia US support in the military and economical spheres, adding the Washington “fully supports” Georgia’s NATO aspirations.
”The United States wants to build a multi-partner world in which nations make common cause on common concerns,” stated Biden the day before his appearance in Parliament. “With Georgia, our partnership involves meeting security challenges. Because we are grateful, as well, I might add, to Georgia's soldiers who stand next to ours, and are being trained now to stand with ours in Afghanistan. It includes our commitment to your energy security, [something which] you're [also] providing for many others. Our partnership rests on a foundation of shared democratic ideals, and we will continue to support your work and deepen Georgia’s democracy. And our partnership includes a determination to build even stronger bonds, not only between our Governments, but equally as important, among our people.”
Speaking on July 23 Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili thanked Joe Biden for his statements regarding support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “We have a brilliant base for cooperation that covers a lot of spheres” stated Saakashvili, referring to perspectives of the development of relations between the countries.
The Chair of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze noted that US support for Georgia, as shown by the visit of Joe Biden, has a “decisive” meaning in “preventing Russia repeating aggression.” Bakradze noted that US support will help Georgia “be protected, and what is especially important, start the process of the withdrawal of the Russian Army from the occupied territories and the resolving of the conflicts,” the Georgian Parliament Chair told journalists on Thursday.
The importance of Biden’s visit for resolving Georgia’s conflicts was also underlined by Georgian State Minister on Reintegration Issues Temur Iakobashvili. “We have received the most important [message] that the new American administration is on the side of the Georgian people and it cares about how this country will develop. The US Vice President has once again reaffirmed the US’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity,” said Iakobashvili, speaking to Georgian journalists on July 23.
“Georgia never felt a lack of support from the US and Biden’s visit underlines this even more deeply. The main issue now is not to draw back and to use this support for normalizing the situation in Georgia,” stated Shalva Pichkhadze, a Georgian political analyst, speaking to The Messenger on July 23.
In tandem with Biden’s visit Russia has made several statements accusing Georgia of increasing its military potential with America’s help and has announced that Tbilisi is preparing for “yet another military provocation in South Ossetia.” "We are deeply concerned about the actions of the Georgian leadership aimed at the remilitarisation of the country, which are amazingly being met with a calm and even a positive reaction by some Governments," stated Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, as quoted by the ITAR-TASS ,news agency, on July 23. Karasin added that Russia “will continue to prevent the re-arming of Saakashvili's regime and is taking concrete measures against this.”
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reaffirms Georgia's sovereign right to self defence. Georgia is an independent country that will make its own sovereign decisions. Georgia poses no threat to any of its neighbours, despite the fact Russia continues to illegally occupy significant parts of Georgia, in direct violation of ceasefire agreements to which they are a party,” stated the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reply to Karasin’s statement.