State Minister Alexi Petriashvili was among the Georgian officials in the Roosevelt Room in the White House when the door opened and President Obama unexpectedly joined the meeting and discussed important topics with Prime Minister Garibashvili and members of his team.
Even for such an experienced diplomat, it turned out to become unforgettable meeting for the State Minister. Agenda.ge asked him to share his impressions and he kindly agreed to write this blog exclusively for our readers while on an extremely tight schedule.
When you hold a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden, you cannot really exclude the possibility that the door of the Roosevelt Room in the White House may open and the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, will enter.
Deep down, I really believed this would happen even earlier, even from when we were leaving Tbilisi for our U.S. visit. Upon our arrival at the White House, my faith strengthened and despite my many years of diplomatic experience, the moment Mr. President entered the room was really very exciting.
The meeting was very warm, friendly and sincere. As the saying goes, chemistry developed very quickly between the two leaders.
"The meeting was very warm, friendly and sincere," writes Alexi Petriashvili in his blog and we think that this picture is a good evidence of this impression. Photo by PM's office.
President Obama and Vice President [Joe] Biden attach great importance to Georgia’s signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union. Also, they used their initiative and raised the issue of occupation of our territories and continued separate discussion with Russia and called on us to do the same.
They emphatically welcomed that we do not concede to provocations and have demonstrated readiness to settle the conflict with Russia through dialogue. They are grateful that we contributed to the ISAF mission and showed their support to Georgia’s integration to NATO. They also believed this integration would significantly contribute to a consistent process of European integration.
The meeting turned out to be really good. President Obama and Vice President Biden offered "a 24/7 friendship” to the Georgian Prime Minister, [Irakli] Garibashvili.
It seems the American leaders also know the famous phrase by Tbilisi resident Niaz Diasamidze that "the friendship continues around the clock”.