Secretary Pompeo: “US unequivocally condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgian soil”

Secretary Pompeo: "The Russian-occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia." Photo: PM's press office., 21 May 2018 - 21:04, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has started his visit to the United States with a meeting with the Secretary the Department of State Mike Pompeo today.

They met before the plenary session of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission and delivered remarks regarding further cooperation between the countries in different spheres including defence, security, economy, democracy building, trade and Georgia’s NATO integration.

Kvirikashvili thanked Pompeo for convening the plenary session so soon after his appointment in this office.

The commission holds a high-level plenary session each year, where high-level U.S. and Georgian policymakers discuss past work, update activities and establish future objectives.

Pompeo’s speech started with a declaration of support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Pompeo sounded a clear and strong message to Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia’s occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"The United States unequivocally condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgian soil. Russia’s forcible invasion of Georgia is a clear violation of international peace and security and goes against the basic principles of the charter of UN and the Helsinki final act,” stated Pompeo.

We call on Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre conflict positions to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to each of those two regions.”

The US State Secretary thanked Georgia for its contribution to the peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan.

Georgia is the largest non-NATO troop contributor to Afghanistan and 32 of its soldiers have sacrificed their lives over the course of the mission.

"President Trump stands by the 2008 Bucharest Declaration and the US looks forward to one day welcoming Georgia into NATO,” underlined Mike Pompeo.

Kvirikashvili emphasized U.S.-Georgia further defence and security cooperation and new initiatives.

PM Kvirikashvili: "Georgia highly values sustained and unequivocal U.S. support for our territorial integrity and sovereignty." Photo: Prime Minister's press office.

A few days ago, Army General Scaparrotti, the commander of U.S. European Command, was in Georgia to launch the Georgia Defense Readiness Program, historical program and Training initiative. This marks the beginning of a new era of partnership between our countries which contributes to the security of the Black Sea region, and thus, the stability of the greater European security environment."

"We are at a stage where we are ready to make an even more impressive leap in our bilateral and multilateral defense and security cooperation,” stated Kvirikashvili.

"We are already exceeding the NATO standard of spending 2% of our GDP on defense budget, including more than 20% on the equipment. We are pleased to have the opportunity to buy US military defense equipment.”

You can watch the full remarks of Georgia’s Prime Minister and US State Secretary at the official Twitter channels of both officials: