The US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, held meetings in Georgia on December 6. During her meetings with politicians and civil sector representatives Nuland stressed that she would take “two messages” from Georgia. The American official also promised assistance on the EU path for Georgia and emphasized that Georgia should continue “attracting” Abkhazians and South Ossetians.
US official meets with Georgian government
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 9
"I am delighted that I am in a democratic Georgia once again. There are two reasons I am with you. One of them concerns the democratic elections held by you and the peaceful transfer of power. The second reason refers to initialing the Association Agreement. We will continue to support you. During the day, I had excellent meetings with the president, prime minister and ministers. I also met with the leader of the parliamentary minority and the speaker of the parliament, which indicates the growing unity,” Nuland said.
She stated that Georgia should continue progress to satisfy NATO standards as well.
Regarding the “attraction” of the Georgian occupied regions, Nuland suggested that Georgia should continue to set contacts with Abkhazians and Ossetians in order to involve them in the democratic process and well-being of Georgia. “Georgia can offer them to become a part of Europe with you. They deserve it because they are citizens of Georgia,“ Nuland said.
Nuland emphasized that the Georgian occupied regions are always discussed during the U.S. leaders meetings with Russian officials.
“We want to see appropriate relations between neighbors and solving the territorial problems,” Nuland said, adding that the United States is waiting for the new leaders of Georgia to visit the U.S.
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili stated that the meeting with Nuland was significant, and great part of the meeting concerned “the most difficult year for Georgia (2014).”
“We have also discussed the situation on the occupied regions and deepening the relation with the U.S.” Margvelashvili stated.
The Ministry of Defense said that the meetings would be held in two weeks in the United States, where Georgian foreign and Defense issues will be discussed.
Head of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Kakha Kozhoridze, stressed that the meeting with Nuland was positive.
“The positive character was probably caused due to the fact that the situation concerning human rights is much better after the parliamentary elections of 2013, than it was before,” Kozhoridze said, noting that the U.S. has detailed information on Georgian issues and the challenges the country is facing currently.
Head of Transparency International Georgia, Eka Gigauri, stated that one of the topics of the meeting concerned the protection of minority rights, which should be ensured better than it is now.
“We also shifted attention to the necessity of effective monitoring groups for law-enforcement bodies, and for them to have less levers for carrying surveillance in many cases,” Gigauri stated.