John Kerry: Shevardnadze was a great statesman

In his statement John Kerry noted that Shevardnadze played an instumental role in ending the cold war., 08 Jul 2014 - 11:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

United States (US) Secretary of State John Kerry has offered his condolences on the passing of former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.

In a statement, Kerry said in the 1980s Shevardnadze played an instrumental role with President Gorbachev, President Reagan, and Secretary Shultz in bringing the Cold War to an end.

"He reduced the risk of nuclear confrontation by giving new life to arms control negotiations. He opposed the hardliners and refused to use force against Central and Eastern European countries when they began political and economic reforms, and he advocated reform within the Soviet Union as well,” said Kerry in his statement.

"As Georgia’s second President following the restoration of independence, Shevardnadze helped ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of that fragile state during the 1990s, and put Georgia on its irreversible trajectory toward Euro-Atlantic integration,” Kerry noted.

The US Secretary of State called on Georgian people to continue moving the country on its democratic path.

"As Georgia pauses to reflect on the life of one of its great statesmen, we urge all Georgians to remain committed to a united, democratic Georgia,” Kerry said.

Georgia’s second President, Shevardnadze, died yesterday afternoon at the age of 87 after battling a long illness.