Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will review the progress of U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership and results of the May 30 local elections when she visits Georgia on July 5, Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said.
Clinton starts trip to Eastern Europe from July 1 with Ukraine, followed by Poland and then Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.
In Tbilisi the U.S. Secretary of State will meet with President Saakashvili, Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, opposition and civil society representatives, as well as women’s leaders, Philip Gordon said.
“Any trip like this in multiple countries you have multiple goals,” he said on June 29, while briefing reporters in Washington about the upcoming visit. “I think a common theme that stretches across all of them is this theme of democracy.”
Gordon also said that he did not see this trip as “a sort of reassurance tour”, following the U.S. reset policy with Russia; he said there was no lack of understanding among the United States’ Eastern European partners that “the better relationship with Russia does not come at the expense of our relationship with sovereign, independent countries that are near Russia.”
“I suspect in both places [Ukraine and Georgia] the Secretary will talk to her counterparts about Russia, but I wouldn’t see it as the purpose of the trip,” he said. “We don’t think that anybody should have any concerns about the new and better relationship with Russia… But to the extent that anyone has concerns about our Russia policy, we’re happy to discuss them and, again, I’m sure in Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the issue of Russia will come up.”
He also reiterated that the U.S. continues calling on Russia to abide by its commitments undertaken under the August 12 six-point ceasefire agreement and to secure transparency in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia through allowing international presence in those regions.
“We are dissatisfied with the situation there and we’ve made this clear. The President made it clear to President Medvedev last week and we’ve been consistent in noting that we respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Gordon said.