US congressman calls for Georgia support
By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, June 24
US congressman David Dreier reiterated the US support towards Georgia in his speech on June 22. Dreier, who visited Georgia earlier in June told the US congressmen that the consequences of the military conflict between Georgia and Russia of August 2008 are still being felt. “For the people of the republic of Georgia, this conflict has been going on for nearly three years. They live with the tragic consequences that follow any conflict including thousands of displaced persons and significant economic hardships,” Dreier noted “Beyond a human cost, they face a long term strategic challenge of an occupying force in regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Where Russia continues to violate the terms of the ceasefire to which it agreed,” he noted.
Dreier went on saying that “as occupiers, they [Russia] the sovereignty and territorial integrity of an independent state – one that has chosen a path of integration with euro Atlantic institutions and more important one that has chosen integration with euro-Atlantic values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Russia’s reccoucentracies left the region in a bitter stalemate as flouts international norms and its own commitments.”
The US congressman stressed on the recent alleged terrorist attacks and foiled terrorist acts, claimed to be staged by the Russian special agencies on the Georgian territory. “Since 2009 the republic of Georgia has experienced 12 acts or attempted acts of terrorism within its borders which the Georgians believe are linked to Russian forces. One such bombing of September 22 of 2010 took place near the US embassy in Tbilisi, two thwarted attempts took place just this month. One improvised explosive device was intercepted on June 2 two days before several colleagues and I arrived in Tbilisi. Another was intercepted on June 6, while we were still there,” Dreier said, adding that he had discussed the recent incidents during his meeting with the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. “He and his administration is increasingly concerned about what they perceive to be a systematic effort to target the Georgian people and undermine their progress towards a peaceful, stable, independent and democratic nation,” the congressman said.
He noted that the intended targets of recent bombing attempts “seemed to suggest an increased focus on civilian casualties.” “This is particularly troubling,” Dreier stated. “As the investigation proceeds to determine the origin and intent of these bombings, it is more important than ever that we stand with our Georgian friends, that we stand with their right to sovereignty and territorial integrity, that we stand with their efforts to build a stronger democracy,” the congressman noted.
Dreier touched upon the US’s reset policy with Russia, saying that Obama’s administration has attempted to reset relations with Russia for a number of “pragmatic and strategic” reasons. “I believe they were right to do so. But it is important to differentiate between those relationships which are important for inescapable geopolitical considerations and those which are based on shared values and goals,” he said “As a major international player and a prominent member of the United Nation’s Security Council we must engage constructively with Russia, but that does not mean that we must turn a blind eye to its tactics or strategic aims towards the former soviet sphere, on the contrary we must engage with eyes wide open,” Congressman Dreier added.