Georgia: Pompeo meets President Zurabishvili, PM Gakharia in Tbilisi
Congressmen Kinzinger and Connolly reintroduced the House of Representatives &# 171; Act in Support of Georgia
The Georgian authorities thank the American congressmen for their support and express the hope that the «Support Act for Georgia» will pass all the necessary procedures and become an important milestone in relations between the two countries.
«Thanks to great friends and fans of Georgia Jerry Connolly and Adam Kinzinger for initiating the bill in support of our country and for once again emphasizing the strength of the strategic partnership with Georgia, thereby strengthening our sovereignty and territorial integrity, stable democratic development and security.», — wrote on February 11, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in «Twitter».
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani also expressed gratitude to the American congressmen at a briefing on February 11. The minister said that the newly initiated bill is another confirmation of bipartisan support from the Congress, as well as the fact that the topic of Georgia does not lose its relevance and is important both for the new composition of the Congress and for the executive branch of the United States..
«This document reiterates support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, and it also talks about sanctions against those who are responsible for violations of human rights in the occupied territories … It is also important that «Support Act for Georgia» instructs the Secretary of State to present next steps to deepen defense and security relations with Georgia within 90 days. Cooperation in the field of cybersecurity stands apart, which is extremely important for the geopolitical system of the modern world. It should also be noted areas that are significant for strategic partnership, economic cooperation, free trade.», — noted in his speech the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Earlier on February 10, the co-chairs “Group of Friends of Georgia” in the US Congress – Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Democrat Gerald Connolly of Virginia – re-initiated a bipartisan «Support Act for Georgia» in the House of Representatives.
An official press release said the bill reaffirms the United States‘ continued support for Georgia’s independence and sovereignty. The document also recognizes Georgia’s commitment to democratic values, including free and fair elections, and reaffirms US opposition to Russian aggression in the region..
In a statement, the authors of the bill say that in the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia incites hatred, encourages separatism and is responsible for serious human rights violations, including illegal arrests and killings of people living near the line of occupation, as well as denying the right to return to their homes to internally displaced persons.
Respectively, «Support Act for Georgia» implies the imposition of sanctions against those who are responsible or involved in human rights violations in these occupied territories.
«More than 12 years have passed since Russian forces invaded and occupied Georgian lands. Nonetheless, despite Russia’s violations of fundamental human rights, Georgia worked tirelessly to develop democracy and independence for its people. For these reasons, it is important to resubmit this bill.», — stated Adam Kinzinger.
«I am proud to reintroduce the Georgia Support Act, which strengthens the critical US-Georgia partnership, a strategically important relationship in this vital part of the world. This bill once again clearly shows that the United States of America strongly supports Georgia‘s sovereignty, continued democratic development and security, especially in the face of Russian aggression.», — said Congressman Connolly.
Recall that as a result of the Russian-Georgian war, Russia in 2008 recognized the independence of two Georgian regions. – Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and transferred additional troops and weapons to its military bases in these territories. All states of the world — excluding Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria — consider these regions as the territory of Georgia under Russian occupation.
The Georgian opposition stated the importance of supporting the United States, but expressed regret that the current government, «unable to use this support properly».
«For Georgia, given the current difficult international situation, the support of the leader of the free world is extremely important — U.S.A. Our problem is that we do not have a leadership with the proper vision, faith, competence and will to advance the national interests of Georgia.», — considers the leader of the opposition «European Georgia», former head of the Security Council Giga Bokeria.
In the party of ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili «United national movement» share a similar opinion, arguing that under the new administration in Washington, Georgia «a window of new opportunities opens», especially in terms of «accelerating Georgia’s path to NATO». However, in «UNM» believe that the current government will not be able to use «this unique chance».
Recall that «Support Act for Georgia» must be approved by the House of Representatives, then by the Senate, after which it will be sent to the President of the United States. «Support Act for Georgia» will gain the force of law after being signed by the president.