Mike Pence, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Donald Trump in the Oval Office, May 8, 2017. Photo: White House
On May 8, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, as part of his three-day official visit to the United States.
Vice President Mike Pence was the first to meet PM Kvirikashvili. The White House reported after the meeting that the two leaders “affirmed the strength of the U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership that has continued to grow stronger for 25 years and emphasized the importance of Georgia’s significant contributions to global security.”
“In particular, the Vice President expressed his deep gratitude for the sacrifices of the Georgian people to include 31 Georgian service members who have given their lives fighting alongside NATO forces in Afghanistan,” the White House said.
The Vice President also reiterated the Administration’s “steadfast commitment” to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, praised the Prime Minister’s leadership on political and economic reforms and reaffirmed U.S. support for “Georgia’s decision to pursue integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, including NATO.” “The leaders also pledged to explore ways to continue to enhance their economic and trade relations,” the White House also reported.
Following the meeting with Mike Pence, PM Kvirikashvili had a brief encounter with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. “Honored to welcome Georgia Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili to the White House today with Vice President Mike Pence,” Trump tweeted.
PM Kvirikashvili’s press office said in its press release of the meeting that the President stressed Georgia’s role “as an important ally and a strategic partner” of the United States. The press release reported that the two spoke on the current and future plans for bilateral relations, and that President Trump expressed the Washington D.C.’s full support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Kvirikashvili invited President Trump to Georgia.
“We had a lengthy discussion with Vice President Mike Pence, where we summed up our relations in the last 25 years and spoke on the future 25 years. We received strong assurances from the United States on deepening our partnership in all areas. This was a very positive meeting: we spoke on a range of issues – cooperation in the fields of defense, security, culture, development of democratic institutions and deepening of economic relations,” Kvirikashvili told the journalists after his White House visit.
“We received clear messages from President Donald Trump on the support to Georgia. Overall, we believe that these meetings are extremely important for Georgia’s future development and stability. The United States as Georgia’s major strategic partner will continue supporting Georgia and these relations will further develop in the future,” he added.
On May 8, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held meetings with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, as well as with Senate Foreign Relations Europe Subcommittee Chairman Ron Johnson, Senator Christopher Murphy and Senator Jeanne Shaheen. As part of the visit, Kvirikashvili will also meet the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and representatives of Washington D.C.-based think tanks. The Prime Minister will conclude the visit on May 10.
Led by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Georgian delegation includes Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani and the Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Advisor Tedo Japaridze.