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Saakashvili: Talks on Strategic Partnership Deal with U.S. Underway
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 22 Dec.'08 / 19:35

President Saakashvili said on December 22, that talks were underway on signing a strategic partnership treaty with the United States.

“It does not mean only systematization and putting in order of what was happening until now. If we sign this agreement – negotiations are still underway – it will mean that our relations with the greatest and strongest state of the world – our relations with this state will move qualitatively to a higher level,” Saakashvili said.

He said that the potential treaty would not be simply reflection of the current bilateral relations on the paper, but it will lay ground for even closer cooperation between the United States and Georgia, directed towards “Georgia’s future, security in this region, Georgia’s economic and political success.”

“The United States has never mentioned before that Georgia is its strategic ally – not in any statement, not in any agreement,” Saakashvili said. “If we achieve that this word – strategic – appears in these relations, this will be the clearest response to the aggression against Georgia, this will be the clearest response to the constant attempt to ruin and split Georgia.

Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, said on December 21, that he expected the treaty to be signed before the New Year.

In a separate remarks made on December 22, Vashadze said that the treaty would cover broad range of issues, including “unconditional and clear reaffirmation [by the United States] of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and what is the most important – cooperation in defense and security, as well as unconditional return of displaced person and de-occupation of our territories.”

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