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Signing of U.S.-Georgia Strategic Charter Postponed
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Jan.'09 / 18:33

Signing of the U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, originally planned for January 4 in Washington, has been postponed because of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s planned visit to the Middle East, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on January 2.

It also said that the Secretary of State and Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, would sign the treaty “in the forthcoming days.”

“The document envisages expansion of partnership and cooperation between the two countries in the fields of defence, security, economy, energy, democratic reforms, diplomacy and culture,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In his New Year address to the nation President Saakashvili said that “in next few days” Georgia would sign “a Charter on strategic alliance with the United States.”

“A new stage is beginning for Georgia’s international relations by signing of this agreement,” he said. “Georgia has never before been the world’s strongest state’s equal strategic ally. This agreement, of course, won’t neutralize all the short-term threats; but in a long-term perspective it will turn Georgia into the state of different quality.”

“With this Charter we are actually moving from the epoch of the Georgievsk Treaty [an agreement signed in 1783 under which eastern Georgia was becoming the Russian empire’s protectorate].”

The Department of State said in a press statement on December 23 that the charter will be similar to the one signed by the U.S. and Ukraine on December 19 - Charter on Strategic Partnership.

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