Press Availability Following Meeting with Foreign Minister Panjikidze
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Assistant Secretary Gordon: [Inaudible] meeting with the Foreign Minister, our first official meeting, but I hope the first of many. I look forward to seeing her here and in Washington.
I appreciated hearing from the Foreign Minister Georgia’s continued commitment to strong relations with the United States and to Euro-Atlantic integration, and speaking for the United States, we obviously very much support both of those paths for Georgia. I know she was recently in Berlin and in Brussels and we’ll look forward in early December to have a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, which will be an opportunity to acknowledge and to support Georgia’s path towards NATO.
And it was also a chance for me to strongly express our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will continue to work in the Geneva process to support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and security. We have a strong relationship and it was encouraging to me to hear from the Foreign Minister that Georgia is as committed to that relationship as we are.
Question: [In Georgian.]
Assistant Secretary Gordon: Well, without getting into details of any particular meeting, it was important for me on this visit to meet not just with members of the majority but members of the minority and also the National Security Adviser of the President, and I think our message for both sides is the same, which is that it’s critically important for both sides to work constructively with each other. We’ve been encouraged that the election led to a peaceful and democratic transition -- that’s to Georgia’s credit. It’s in many ways a model for others in the region, and so I was able to stress to Mr. Bokeria how important it is for UNM to work with the majority constructively in Georgia’s national interest.
Question: [In Georgian.]
Assistant Secretary Gordon: I did make comments yesterday and my comments stand. I don’t think I need to reiterate from the start everything I said on this specific issue. We’re following it closely and carefully. I think that also speaks for itself. We have a great interest in what is taking place in Georgia. I think the entire international community is following it closely and paying close attention to make sure that as the rule of law is implemented, it is done so in a transparent process that does not look like political retribution and that due process is applied, and in the United States and in Europe I think we’re all paying close attention -- it’s critically important for the future of Georgia.
# # #