Pence confirms U.S. support to Georgia
By Tina Tskhovrebadze
Wednesday, August 2Mike Pence, U.S. Vice President, arrived in Georgia on July 31, 2017. The visit of Vice President of United States is significant for Georgia as the country tries to maintain its western-oriented policy and continues its path to NATO membership. Especially, as Pence visited Georgia in the frames of his to tour to NATO member states.
The residents of Georgia gathered at Tbilisi International Airport to meet the Vice President on Monday demonstrating that Georgian people appreciated his visit and had trust in the support of the United States. Most political parties and official representatives agreed that this visit shows U.S government’s full support for Georgia’s territorial unity and sovereignty.
As Russia keeps on its “creeping occupation” of Georgia’s territory, the Georgian government seeks for international support, which is seen as a major peaceful tool for Georgia to stop its peaceful annexation.
“Mike Pence’s visit has a historical meaning for Georgia. On the one hand, our country needs support from the United States to have a balanced situation in the region and handle some threats, but on the other hand, Georgia is a trustful, serious and an important partner for the USA. We are contributing to the process of building global security and this role is appreciated by U.S.,” explains Tamar Khulordava, Chairman of European Integration Committee of the Georgian Parliament.
Earlier during his visit to Estonia, Mike Pence stated: “We stand by our partners in the Eastern Europe to protect freedom and it is a great honor for us.”
The Vice President had a clear message from U.S. President Donald Trump that was declared at the meeting with Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia: “The President of the United States sent me here with a very simple message – to you, to your government and to the good and courageous people of Georgia: we are with you, we stand with you, for your freedom and for our shared values,” said Pence.
The Prime Minister of Georgia mentioned that the United States “has a dedicated friend in Georgia, a stable geopolitical ally and a strategic partner, a partner with common values and shared global security priorities” that brings Georgia to retake her “rightful place in the family of European nations.”
The Georgian opposition Parties also had their meetings with the Vice President. One of the representatives of the Georgian opposition - David Usupashvili, former Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia and a leader of the “Time to Build” party, mentioned that getting an economic support from the United States depends on the quality of democratic processes in Georgia.
According to David Bakradze, leader of the “European Georgia” “the Vice President’s message regarding the future and security of Georgia is absolutely clear – the new administration of the United States continues to support Georgia’s territorial unity, security and joining NATO.” The Georgian opposition leaders admitted they have discussed amendments to the Constitution of Georgia and expect wider involvement in the process.
On August 1, after the meeting with the opposition parties of Georgia, Prime Minister Kvirikashvili and Vice President Pence held a joint press conference. The questions raised mainly referred to the undergoing peaceful occupation process of Georgia’s soil. At the press conference, Mike Pence stressed the United States’ strong support to Georgia and its sovereignty. Pence also said that “America is ready to have good relationships with Russia, but Russia’s behavior shows different will.” Mike Pence stressed that Trump’s administration strongly supports Georgia’s membership to NATO and is ready to cooperate in the spheres of defense, security and economy.
The Vice President’s visit is an encouraging sign for Georgia in its western aspirations and peaceful democratic development.