President Obama met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili in Lisbon on sideline of NATO summit on November 19 to discuss "further strengthening" of relations between the two countries, the White House said.
The meeting, long sought by the Georgian leader, was the first one-on-one talks between Obama and Saakashvili, although the two briefly met at the Washington nuclear security summit in April.
"President Obama reaffirmed U.S. support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. President Obama expressed his appreciation for Georgia’s significant contributions to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and for the service and sacrifice of its brave troops," the White House said.
It also said that the two presidents discussed "the Georgian government’s efforts to implement political, economic, and defense reforms and our shared interest in securing democracy, stability, and prosperity in Georgia."
The Georgian President's administration said in a statement that the two leaders discussed "discussed regional security, stressing the importance of dialogue and cooperation."
It also said that President Obama reiterated the U.S. support to Georgia's NATO aspirations and "commanded Georgia's reforms and urged the Georgian leadership to continue them."
"President Saakashvili thanked President Obama and his Administration for their steadfast support of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for affirming Georgia's path toward eventual NATO membership. President Saakashvili also expressed the gratitude of the Georgian people... for generous [USD 1 billion] financial aid package that helped Georgia in the last two years," the Georgian President's administration said.
It said that Saakashvili "stressed the importance of US assistance in Georgia's continued pursuit of democratic and economic reforms."
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