President Obama will host his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili for a meeting in the Oval Office on January 30, the White House said.
It noted that 2012 marks 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between U.S. and Georgia and the two presidents would discuss further strengthening the U.S.-Georgia charter on strategic partnership, signed in 2009, "by enhancing cooperation in the fields of trade, tourism, energy, science, education, culture, and security."
"President Obama will underscore the importance of our defense cooperation with Georgia, including Georgia’s substantial contributions to international security operations in Afghanistan," the White House said.
"The President will reconfirm U.S. support for the integrity of Georgia’s territory within its internationally recognized borders."
"The President also looks forward to discussing upcoming elections in Georgia and the reforms that will ensure Georgia’s continuing transformation into a vibrant and stable democratic state." the White House said.
This is the first time President Obama invited President Saakashvili in the Oval Office. The first face-to-face meeting between the two presidents was held in Lisbon on sideline of NATO summit in November, 2010. The two presidents briefly met in January, 2011 after the two leaders attended a memorial service for a veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is expected to visit Georgia this year.
“An official visit by the Georgian President stresses special relations existing between our two countries and the political leadership of the two countries,” Temur Yakobashvili, Georgia’s ambassador to the U.S., told Rustavi 2 TV.