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U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland Visits Georgia

Thursday, December 12
Victoria Nuland, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs paid an official visit to Georgia. Victoria Nuland attended a ribbon-cutting of a USAID-funded accessibility ramp at the State Chancellery building together with Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili.

"The country's image will be measured by how far it cares for its citizens. The state is obliged to take care of all its citizens, promote the full integration of people with disabilities in society in every way and create all the conditions for a decent life. It is our duty and it is important that the government take care of its soldiers, and our veterans who were affected by the military operations," said the Prime Minister of Georgia.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State also emphasized the significance of taking care of the disabled. She also underlined Georgia's contribution to international security and expressed gratitude towards the Georgian military.

"This is a spectacular opportunity for the United States to again thank the Georgian Armed Forces for the amazing contributions that you have made and for your sacrifices as part of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

U.S. and Georgian soldiers stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the field promoting security and peace. And we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in taking caring of our wounded warriors. I’ve had the honor of visiting Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan, and I can personally attest to your courage and your incredible service. The United States is committed to assisting Georgia in caring for its wounded warriors. You can count on us to help those wounded in service and to assist Georgia in establishing its own capacity to care for its wounded. We salute your service. And we thank you and we thank the six who are with us here today," said Victoria Nuland.

Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony along with other members of the Georgian Government as well. Wounded military servicemen from the Georgian Armed Forces and other with disabilities also attended the ceremony.

"We have launched a special program for wounded soldiers. With our expenses we'll send our amputees to the United States for prosthetic repair. This will affect not only the wounded in action in Afghanistan, but also war veterans wounded in [our] fight for the territorial integrity of Georgia," declared Irakli Alasania.

During her visit to Georgia, Victoria Nuland held a meeting at the Defence Ministry of Georgia. Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania, Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze and their deputies, hosted the American guest.

At the beginning of the meeting, the defence minister expressed his gratitude to Victoria Nuland for U.S. assistance in the rehabilitation process of wounded Georgian military servicemen. The sides also discussed the issues of Georgia-USA bilateral defence cooperation. Irakli Alasania outlined that he had a very fruitful visit to Washington in August, where the results achieved within the enhancement of defence cooperation, as well as new directions of bilateral cooperation were emphasized. “We have discussed the reforms carried out in the Defence Ministry and the armed forces, as well as the US role in this respect. At the meeting we also referred to the NATO-led international operation in Afghanistan and the post-ISAF mission after 2014. The American side thanked Georgia for our support in global security. We also spoke about Georgia’s prospects for NATO membership and the upcoming NATO summit next year,” stated Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania.

The sides once more emphasized the recently held free and fair presidential elections, calling it another test for Georgia’s democracy. Regional security issues and upcoming NATO Summit in 2014 were also outlined at the meeting.

The sides talked about Georgia-NATO relations. Alasania emphasized that the Georgian side is successfully implementing the ANP and PARP commitment. The ISAF mission, Georgia’s contribution in the NATO Resolute Support Operation beyond 2014 and participation in NRF in 2015 were also topics of discussion.