Visiting U.S. Assistant Secretary of States for Europe and Eurasia Affairs, Philip H. Gordon, reiterated that Washington “stand by Georgia, we stand by its territorial integrity and we stand by its democracy.”
Speaking at a joint news conference with Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, Gordon, who took the post of the State Department’s point man for European and Eurasian affairs in mid-May, said that President Obama would raise Georgia during his meeting with his Russian counterpart when he visits Moscow on July 6-8.
“I think that the President will bring up Georgia in his discussions with Russia… Georgia is an important issue for the United States, so I think the President will raise it and we will make clear that we do stand by Georgia’s territorial integrity and expect that Russia to implement all of its agreements on Georgia,” Gordon said.
He said that Washington “regrets” that Russia blocked Greek-proposed “reasonable compromise proposal” that would have allowed OSCE observers to monitor situation on the both sides of the South Ossetian administrative border.
“We hope that the Russians and all members of the [UN] Security Council will take a pragmatic view that insures that UN mission in Georgia continues, because it plays an important role,” he said. “So I hope very much those discussions in New York about Abkhazia will be more fruitful, than those that took place over South Ossetia [at OSCE].”
The UN Security Council’s Abkhaz resolution is expected by June 15, when the current four-month mandate of UN observers, monitoring situation on the both sides of the Abkhaz administrative border, expires.
“The UN resolution needs to underscore the principle of Georgian territorial integrity; that’s something the United States supports; we want this resolution, because we believe that the situation is better for all if there is a monitoring presence and that there are references to the principles that we believe in. So we’ll do everything we can to ensure resolution that underscores those important principles,” the U.S. diplomat said.
He also said that Washington remained committed to the Charter on Strategic Partnership singed by Georgia and the United States on January 9, 2009. “We look forward to welcoming him [the Georgian Foreign Minister] soon to Washington to discuss further the different aspects of this relationship and the ways in which we can deepen it,” Gordon said.
President Saakashvili, whom the U.S. diplomat was due to meet later on Wednesday evening, said on June 10, that Georgia and the United States would soon create a mechanism for implementation of the provisions laid out in the charter.
“In the nearest days we will create a mechanism of real implementation of the charter on strategic cooperation with the United States. We did not have it with the previous administration. We have much more integration with the European Union than we had previously and much more interesting processes have developed in the neighborhood than we ever had. All these we lead us to strengthening our positions and de-occupation of Georgia,” Saakashvili said while speaking at a government’s session.