US Congressman: “Georgia is a beacon for democracy”

Congressman Ted Poe made his remarks at the first annual conference on Georgia “25 Years of US-Georgia Diplomatic Relations” at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC. Photo: Georgian Embassy., 08 Jun 2017 - 18:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is a "beacon for democracy” and the United States needs to develop more trade with the country, says Congressman Ted Poe.

He adds that he’d support a free trade agreement between the US and Georgia.

Poe made his remarks as the Georgian Embassy to the US, in cooperation with the Heritage Foundation and German Marshall Fund, is hosting the first annual conference on Georgia "25 Years of US-Georgia Diplomatic Relations” at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC today.

The Conference is composed of two panels:

  1. "Political and Security Cooperation: Forging a More Democratic and Peaceful Future,” and
  2. "The Next Chapter in Georgia's Economic Success Story: A Strategic Gateway for Regional Commerce.”

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze is participating in the first panel of the conference. In his opening remarks he stressed that since Georgia regained its independence in 1991 America has been Georgia’s most dedicated friend and strategic partner.

"The US has been a firm backer of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, our successful process of democratic consolidation and economic development”, he said.

Kurt Volker, Executive Director at the McCain Institute for International Leadership and former US permanent representative to NATO said that the US should be as open and supportive as possible to Georgia. He also added he sees no reason why Georgia cannot be part of NATO.

Zalmay Khalilzad, President of the Gryphon Partners also said he supports Georgia’s choice as regard of its security future. He believed UH-Georgia relation is worthy keep supporting and nurturing further.

"Georgia’s territories being occupied by Russia remains a big concern for us”, he added.

Apart from these, the speakers of the first panel include Andrea Thompson, National Security Advisor to the Vice President of the United States and Derek Chollet, Executive Vice President at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and former Assistant Secretary of Defence for International Security Affairs.

The second panel will feature Bruce Andrews, Former US Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Dev Jagadesan, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Irakli Matkava, First Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development of Georgia, Bridget Brink, US Deputy Assistant Secretary, Thomas Melia, Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute, and former Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia.

Georgian Foreign Minister Janelidze arrived in Washington DC earlier this week for Georgia’s Independence Day celebratory week in the States.