Georgian delegation holds meetings in Washington
By Ana Robakidze
Tuesday, July 23
The bilateral strategic partnership, the political situation in Georgia, the upcoming presidential elections, as well as relations with Russia, was discussed during the meeting between Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, William J. Burns. The meeting took place in Washington D.C, on July 19 and was also attended by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, MP Tedo Japaridze.
The meeting was held as a part of an official visit the Georgian delegation paid to the U.S. The Georgian delegation included Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili and MPs from the parliamentary majority– Tina Khidasheli, Irakli Chikovani and Davit Onoprishvili.
Burns expressed his gratitude for Georgia’s strong commitment to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and once again confirmed with the Georgian delegation that the U.S continues to support Georgia on its way to the democracy and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
According to the U.S Embassy in Georgia, the parties discussed a wide range of issues including the conflict regions in Georgia and country’s integration with the Euro-Atlantic family.
Georgian Foreign Minister and the Chairman of Georgian Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee, David Onoprishvili, met with the Deputy Chief US Trade Representative, Miriam Sapiro. The parties discussed Georgian-US economic relations and of course the signing of a free trade agreement and work in this direction.
"Both Georgia and the United States are interested in the deepening of the economic relations that exist between the two countries," Panjikidze commented. After the meeting, she confirmed that negotiations on signing a free trade agreement with the U.S have been intensified recently and it is being taken to the highest level. During the meeting Sapiro was provided with information on the latest reforms carried out in Georgia, including amendments in the Labor Code.
"The reforms that we carried out in this area and that have been endorsed by the international community, of course, have been well received in the United States," Pandjikidze said.
Georgian Foreign Minister departed from the U.S to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the EU-Eastern Partnership foreign ministers meeting. The ministerial is chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.
According the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministerial represents a very important event for Georgia, as it is held ahead of the Vilnius summit. According to Panjikidze, the Georgian delegation in Brussels will focus on those achievements Georgia had recently on the way to integration with the EU.