"You are a true friend to this country! We thank you and the United States for supporting our strategic partnership; this is the most important partnership we have," the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia said during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The head of government underlined the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership and thanked the U.S. Secretary of State for his visit to Georgia during the global pandemic.
"Thank you for the support of the United States in fighting the new coronavirus. As you are well aware, we have a very successful collaboration with Lugar Laboratory, a key aspect of the fight against the new coronavirus. First of all, I would like to emphasize that we truly appreciate the continued support of the people and government of the United States for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. You know very well how important this issue is for our country, whose territories are occupied because the occupying forces are still on our land. We know that this strategic partnership is based primarily on values - freedom, democracy, and, of course, common geostrategic interests. At this very changing time for the region, we realize that these issues need to be addressed. We have a very good opportunity to discuss important issues and deepen cooperation between the United States and Georgia on defense and security and economic and democratic consolidation. I want to assure you that we feel that the moment has come for the strengthening of our cooperation and partnership, as well as the enhanced representation of the United States in this region. Welcome again, and thank you for your visit to Georgia," Giorgi Gakharia addressed Pompeo.
The U.S. Secretary of State thanked the Head of Government of Georgia for the hospitality. Mike Pompeo highlighted the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries.
"Mr. Prime Minister, I am happy to be here. Very important issues will be discussed, and all the aspects you have listed have been marked accordingly. The whole world, including Georgia, is facing the challenge of the virus from China. We will deal with it together, take care of our people, and develop the economy, which is very important for the well-being of your country, region, and the world.
We have been wonderful friends for 30 years now. We support you on democratic issues and work together on cases related to the pain and hardships of occupying your country. We will do everything in the future to support the process of democratization of your country, to strengthen the institutions that are important for free and fair elections, and all that comes from healthy discussion and democracy. Thank you for your hospitality. I appreciate this opportunity, and I am glad to meet you," Pompeo stated.
The sides discussed the Georgian-US strategic partnership's main directions and the prospects for further deepening the strong cooperation.
The head of government noted the significant U.S. assistance in dealing with the pandemic and thanked the strategic partner.
Attention was paid to Georgia and the United States' cooperation in strengthening regional and international security in Georgia and the region.
During the meeting with the Secretary of State, the Head of Government focused on the difficult security and humanitarian situation in Georgia's occupied regions.
The Secretary of State reaffirmed the United States' unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
The meeting highlighted cooperation in further strengthening trade and economic relations and promoting democratic development. The Prime Minister particularly emphasized the important role of the United States on the country's democratic development.
According to Giorgi Gakharia, the Secretary's visit once again underscores the strength of the US-Georgia strategic partnership and the two countries' readiness to deepen cooperation and partnership based on shared values.
Philip Reeker, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Kelly Degnan, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Ricky Waddell, the Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Mary Kissel, the Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State attended the high-level meeting of an expanded format at the Government Administration. From the Georgian side - the Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the United States of America Davit Bakradze, and the head of Government Administration Natia Mezvrishvili were present at the meeting.