U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, who is visiting Georgia on November 27-29, met on Tuesday PM Bidzina Ivanishvili.
PM Ivanishvili said he had “a very friendly meeting” with the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
“I expressed hope that under Georgia’s new government our relationship would further deepen and I have assured him that Georgia would be much more reliable and comfortable country for the United States,” PM Ivanishvili said.
The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said after the meeting that he was visiting Georgia for number of reasons.
“One is to discuss our strategic and security relationship in the context of our strategic partnership commission and to talk about how we can continue, as the Prime Minister said, to move Georgia forward toward achieving its aspirations for… membership in NATO and the European Union and how we can continue to deepen and strengthen our partnership in Afghanistan,” Rubin.
While in Tbilisi he will participate in the defense and security working group meeting between the Georgian and U.S. officials, which will be held in frames of strategic partnership commission. The working group on defense and security is one of those four inter-agency bilateral groups, which were established to address priority areas of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter, which was signed in January, 2009. Other priority areas of cooperation identified by the charter are democracy, economic and people-to-people relations.
“I’m also here to talk about how we can further Georgia’s efforts to make progress on priorities that the new government has established on moving forward economically, on creating jobs, on building our trade relationship,” Rubin said. “I am here to talk about how we can help support the transition of the success of Georgia as a proud democracy following the elections; we are completely committed to supporting Georgia, Georgian people, Georgian government in achieving aspirations it set for itself.”
He reiterated U.S. support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and said that Washington would continue “strong support for Georgia’s positions” at Geneva talks, which were launched after the August 2008 war with participation of negotiators from Georgia, Russia, the United States, as well as from Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
He said that the message that would be carried at the next round of Geneva talks in December would also be the “hope that we can achieve progress in resolving the difficulties that we address in Geneva, achieve progress in improving relations among all the parties, achieve progress in building people-to-people contacts and reducing tensions.”
“We are very, very strongly committed to achieving better regional integration to the benefit of all the countries in the region. We believe that better relationships are possible across the board; there is no zero sum game and we support the Prime Minister’s efforts to improve all of Georgia’s relationships in the region and that is something that we will do our best to support when we go to Geneva,” Rubin said.