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Biden, Saakashvili Meet in Munich
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Feb.'09 / 18:44

President Saakashvili said the U.S. Vice President, Joe Bides, had assured him of Washington’s continued political and economic support to Georgia.

Saakashvili and Biden met in Munich on February 8 on the sideline of the Security Conference.

Saakashvili said after the meeting that in his address to the Conference on February 7, Vice President Biden underlined three key principles, which were very important for Georgia.

“He said that the U.S. will never recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia… He said that the U.S. will not recognize spheres of influence, which means that Georgia will not return back to its old sphere of influence – contrary to desire of our ill-wisher. Also the United States will not allow anyone to ban others to join alliances and here obviously NATO is concerned,” Saakashvili said.

Biden said while addressing the Security Conference in Munich: “The United States will not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. We will not recognize a sphere of influence. It will remain our view that sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances.”

Saakashvili told a group of Georgian TV journalists in Munich after meeting with Biden that “all these points have been confirmed during our conversation today.”

Asked after meeting with President Saakashvili whether he was in favor of Georgia joining NATO, Biden said as quoted by Reuters: “I'm in favor of Georgia's continued independence and autonomy. That is a decision for Georgia to make.”

Reuters suggested that Biden's these comments “appeared to suggest the new administration of President Barack Obama might be less aggressive in its backing for Georgia's NATO bid.”

President Saakashvili also told journalists in Munich that he and the U.S. Vice President had “a very concrete” conversation.

“The United States will continue financial support for us, which is very important in the light of the global financial crisis; we have received firm guarantees on this issue. And also it is obvious that during all types of negotiations between the United States and Russia, Georgia will be high on the agenda as a very important issue.”

“Russia is telling rest of the world – let’s negotiate on some issues, but leave my bite in my mouth; my bite is former Soviet republics and let’s divide spheres of influence; that will be mine and let’s talk about all the rest. But I think that the U.S. position on the matter is fully clear – this is absolutely unacceptable.”

“Despite various trends in Europe – and Europe in general is weaker than the United States, especially in the light of the economic crisis – but although there are different opinions in Europe, in overall the position of Europe, EU, NATO is also clear – there will never be a compromise at the expense of the territorial integrity; no one will return Georgia back to the old sphere of influence and no one will ever allow restoration of the Soviet Union; and it will cost a lot to anyone who will even try to do that [restore the Soviet Union],” Saakashvili said.

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