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Foreign Minister holds meetings in US

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, November 5
Georgia’s Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (FM) Giorgi Kvirikashvili is holding meetings in the USA as part of a working visit. He delivered a speech at the House Georgia Caucasus inauguration meeting, held at the U.S. Congress on October 29.

The Minister spoke about the democratic reforms carried out by the Georgian Government, Georgia’s foreign policy priorities (in particular its European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations), Russia’s aggression against Georgia and Ukraine, regional security, the U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership and economic co-operation with the United States of America.

Later, Kvirikashvili and members of the Georgian delegation met with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews.

The discussion was focused on the enhancement of trade and economic relations between Georgia and the U.S., on the readiness of the two countries’ governments to facilitate the development of co-operation in these spheres and on U.S. business interests in Georgia’s potential. The Georgian FM thanked Bruce Andrews for his participation in the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum.

In the frames of his working visit to the USA, Kvirikashvili delivered a speech at the Atlantic Council where he spoke about the necessity of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, Russia’s continued aggression and Georgia’s economic development.

“Euro-Atlantic integration has been - and firmly remains - Georgia’s foreign policy priority. We believe that our national security and lasting regional peace can be achieved only through our strategic partnership with the USA, and through our integration into NATO,” he stated.

According to the Minister, Russia’s aggression against Georgia and Ukraine has endangered both security and democratic values in the region. He called on Western diplomats to become more actively involved in order to resolve these conflicts.

On October 30, the Georgian FM met with the United States’ Trade Representative Michael Froman. At the meeting, both sides announced the endorsement of the Georgia-United States “Statement of Principles for International Investment” and “Trade Principles for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Services.”

Moreover, Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with the Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Jimmy Kolker. The sides spoke about the issues relating to co-operation in the medical sphere between the U.S. and Georgia. Jimmy Kolker pointed out the C Hepatitis Elimination Program recently carried out in Georgia, which according to him “serves as an example of real partnership”.

In addition, the Georgian FM along with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken chaired the fifth session of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission on November 2 at the U.S. Department of State.

The Commission focused on advancing bilateral cooperation between Georgia and the United States in the areas of democracy, defence and security, economics, trade, energy and culture.

The USA side reaffirmed its strong commitment to Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence as well as Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic membership path and European integration, including its Association Agreement with the EU, and welcomed Georgian efforts to work with the EU towards the quick implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.