|Speaker John Boehner (right) welcomes President Saakashvili to his office in the U.S. Capitol. January 12, 2011. Photo: Office of the Speaker|
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, John Boehner, met on January 12 with President Saakashvili in Washington and said he had a constructive conversation with him “about the importance of ensuring Georgia’s commitment to freedom and democracy is not undermined.”
The Republican John Boehner was elected the new Speaker of the House on January 5.
“The American people will continue to stand with others struggling for democracy over the forces of despotism, dignity over degradation, and freedom over subjugation,” the House Speaker said in a statement released after the meeting.
He thanked Georgia for being “an important ally in our campaign against terrorism and radical extremism” and for contributing troops in Afghanistan.
“In our discussion we also reaffirmed other cherished values, including the role and involvement of citizens in petitioning their government, and the necessity of peaceful resolutions to political conflict,” John Boehner said.
President Saakashvili is in Washington to attend a memorial service for a veteran U.S. diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, who died in December. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari and rotating presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borjana Kristo will be among the participants of the event at the Kennedy Center on Friday. Among the foreign ministers attending is Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expected to speak at the memorial service.
Shortly after Holbrooke’s death President Saakashvili announced about the plans to rename one of the streets in Tbilisi after the late U.S. diplomat calling him his “trusted friend and confidant.”
In Washington Saakashvili also met with Republican Congressmen David Dreier and Bill Shuster, as well as Senator Joe Lieberman, according to the Georgian President’s press office. Saakashvili, according to this report, awarded Sen. Lieberman with St. George’s Victory Order.