What is Main Message of Margvelashvili’s US Trip?
By Vladimer Napetvaridze
Thursday, March 15
In the framework of his working visit to the United States, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili continues discussing local and regional security challenges with American politicians. At the meeting with Congressman Gerry Connolly, Margvelashvili thanked the US politician for supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations: “We are grateful for his strong support of Georgia’s territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic way. Consolidation of international support about Russian occupation and integration process is crucial for Georgi,” stated Margvelashvili on his official Instagram page.
During the meeting with Senators Bob Menendez, Bob Corker and Jeanne Shaheen, the President of Georgia discussed Georgia’s security environment and preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels and the security situation in the region as well as the importance of strengthening cooperation and strategic partnership between Georgia and US in the field of security. He also stated that Georgia aims at becoming a NATO-member state, but also mentioned the frozen conflict with Russia over its two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, as one of the main barriers for Georgia to join the Euro-Atlantic organization. Margvelashvili also condemned the death of the Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili, as one of many tragic results of the Russian occupation. At the end of the meeting, senators expressed their support to Georgia and noted Georgia’s immense contribution to the international missions.
The President held an important meeting with Nancy Pelosi- Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, who thanked Margvelashvili for Georgia’s contribution in the international peacekeeping missions.In return, Giorgi Margvelashvili thanked the congressman for support and said that the non-recognition policy of the breakaway territories of Georgia, that is strengthened by the legislative mechanisms, is an important message that will ensure the success of non-recognition policy. The President of Georgia briefed the congressman about the situation in the occupied territories and informed her with the last details about the Archil Tatunashvili's case.
Margvelashvili noted that it is necessary to take effective steps to ensure the stability of the region and prevent the Russian aggression, which is important not only for Georgia but also for the whole Black Sea region and European security. Consequently, in such tense political situation, it is crucial to consolidate international support and express it at NATO's upcoming summit.
It is noteworthy that Georgia-U.S. relations have deepened and become more effective in recent years:
-In July 2017, the US Senate received a bill, which condemns the actions of Russia against Georgia and implies a new sanction.
-August 2017- the visit of the Vice President Mike Pence and his statements for supporting Georgia's territorial integrity was important political message.
-August 2017-the biggest military drills-Noble Partner 2017 were held in Georgia and the American military participants of the mentioned drills made a special march, visited the military bases and the cities which were occupied by the Russian troops in 2008.
-September 2017 - SSA Marine becomes the investor of Anaklia port.
-In the framework of Georgian-American partnership, in 2017, Georgia bought one of the most sophisticated anti-tank missiles and strengthened its military potential.
Georgia remains as an important partner for the U.S. and support of Georgian territorial integrity and non-recognition policy of Georgia’s breakaway regions is important international political message in the given tense political situation. Therefore, on one hand, the visit of the Georgian President in the U.S. had a huge political significance for the country, and on another, such a political activism of Margvelashvili could be a message about his participation in presidential elections.