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US Vice President stresses America supports Georgia’s NATO aspirations

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 3
US Vice President Mike Pence, who concluded his two-day trip to Georgia late on August 1, stressed that his country and the US’ new administration “strongly supports” Georgia’s NATO integration, despite the fact Russia “strongly opposes” Tbilisi’s aspirations.

Pence made his remarks in his address to the participants of the large-scale military Noble Partner 2017 exercise, which includes more than 2,000 soldiers from Georgia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Slovenia and Armenia participating in drills focused on improving defence and attack skills.

Pence stated Trump planned to sign off on the new sanctions again Russia, Iran and North Korea, which were adopted by Congress several days ago to oppose the countries’ “destructive actions”.

Pence said that the US supported Georgia’s bid to join NATO and highlighted the US will have a “relevant response to any aggression to its allies.”

“I am here to underline our firm position and to tell to our Georgian friends - we are with you, we support your NATO membership. Democracy and the rule of law are our shared values,” Pence stated.

During his meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister, Mike Pence stated that he brought Donald Trump’s message to Georgia: “We are with you, we stand with you for your freedom and our shared values.”

Prior to his departure, Pence met Georgia’s Patriarch Ilia II with his wife, who gifted them with a gold bracelet and a gold cross.

The Patriarch also sent gifts to Donald and Melania Trump.

The Vice President also met with the staff of the US Embassy to Georgia.

Georgia’s Prime Minister evaluated Pence’s visit as a “milestone in Georgia-US relations”.