U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland recently visited Georgia, where she congratulated the country on “very good elections and a peaceful transfer of power.”
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland recently visited Georgia, where she congratulated the country on “very good elections and a peaceful transfer of power.” She also lauded Georgia for successfully initialing an Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with the European Union at the recent Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Secretary Nuland said the United States and the European Union will work together to help Georgia meet the requirements necessary to complete the signing process so that the Georgian people can sooner enjoy free trade benefits and stronger business and people-to-people ties with Europe that the agreement will bring.
With regard to NATO, Secretary Nuland noted that Georgia continues to play a strong role in the Alliance, particularly in Afghanistan. “Georgia,” said Ms. Nuland, “has made very strong progress in its work to prepare for NATO.” The NATO-Georgia Commission continues to help Georgia advance towards NATO membership. “The American message and the message from NATO will be, continue to work hard to meet the Alliance’s requirements,” said Secretary Nuland, “and we will assess where Georgia stands in September [at the NATO summit].”
The United States stands strongly for the sovereignty and territorial independence of Georgia. At the same time, the U.S. supports the Georgian Government’s efforts to improve relations with Russia. “There needs to be more progress to settle the question of occupation and borderization,” said Secretary Nuland, “which remains very dangerous.” The United States urges Russia to meet commitments that it made in the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement regarding the continued presence of Russian forces on Georgian territory.
Georgia can provide the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia a democratic and prosperous way forward. As Secretary Nuland said, “Georgia is offering a path to Europe, and the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia deserve to be part of that as they are citizens of Georgia.”