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U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Visits Tbilisi
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Dec.'11 / 17:20

Incorporating electoral recommendations from Venice Commission to Georgia’s election code will be helpful, Eric Rubin, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said in Tbilisi on December 16.

Rubin, who is charge of oversee relations with countries in the Caucasus at the U.S. Department of State, is visiting Georgia to hold talks with senior officials, as well as opposition representatives.

We are committed to do everything we can to help the elections in coming years here to be as free, fair and open as possible,” he said at a news conference.

“We believe that the Venice Commission recommendations offer valuable guidance and we believe that incorporating as many as possible of them into Georgian law and practice will be helpful,” Rubin added.

Lawmakers from the ruling National Movement party have recently prepared additional proposals to be incorporated into the draft of electoral code, which take into consideration some of the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe’s advisory body for legal and constitutional affairs.

The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State reiterated Washington’s support to Georgia’s NATO aspirations. He said that NATO’s decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council (NAC), noted “significant progress in significant number of areas in Georgia’s efforts to advance its candidacy for membership in NATO” when ambassadors from NAC visited Georgia in November.

Rubin said that it would be very important for that progress to be recognized at the NATO Summit in Chicago in spring, 2012.

“And it will be very important for that to be a serious discussion about next steps to move Georgia’s aspirations forward,” he said. “How we do that and in what format we do that, with what words we do that will have to be the subject of consensus within the Alliance and between now and then that’s something we will be working very actively on with our allies.”

Davit Bakradze, the Georgian parliamentary speaker, said after meeting with the U.S. diplomat on December 16, that 2012 would be “very active and dynamic” for the U.S.-Georgian relations.

“We will probably see some new initiatives, which will be very useful for Georgia and which will further deepen relationship between Georgia and the United state,” Bakradze said.

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is expected to visit Georgia next year. No exact date is yet set, according to the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

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