US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia have spoken on the phone and discussed a range of issues, including the October parliamentary elections, Georgia’s ‘effective response’ to the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s redoubled occupation efforts during the pandemic.
The phone conversation yesterday was held due to the postponement of the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership charter session due to the pandemic, with the officials expressing hope the session will take place by the end of the year.
Spoke with Prime Minister @GakhariaGiorgi today on the importance of holding free, fair, and transparent elections in Georgia this October. We will always support Georgia’s sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 27, 2020
Pompeo praised the ‘effective steps’ taken by the Georgian government in response to the coronavirus
Gakharia thanked Pompeo for the US's efforts for years to support the Georgian health system, including the building of the Lugar Centre, and the country’s support in the fight of the coronavirus. Gakharia underlined US assistance in many directions as the base of the strategic partnership of the two countries,” the government of Georgia press office reports.
The press office says that Gakharia thanked Pompeo ‘for his personal support’ for Georgia’s democratic and security advancement, adding that ‘Georgia will be happy to host you on an official visit at a convenient time for you.’
Gakharia briefed Pompeo on the ‘country’s major security challenge’ – the Russian occupation of Georgian territories and Russia’s redoubled occupation efforts during the pandemic which included the illegal detention of Georgian citizens.
Pompeo reiterated the US’s firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Enjoyed speaking with @SecPompeo about the strength of the US-Georgia strategic partnership & new areas of cooperation. I thanked him for supporting our Constitional changes & underscored our committment to an independent judiciary and holding free and fair elections this fall.— Giorgi Gakharia (@GakhariaGiorgi) July 27, 2020
The officials also discussed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process, economic cooperation, the attraction of American investments in Georgia and the importance of Black sea security for the whole region and Euro-Atlantic security.
Georgia is a reliable partner of the US, NATO and the EU in the Black Sea region,” Gakharia said.
Pompeo praised the ‘high-professionalism’ of Georgian soldiers in the NATO Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.
Gakharia said that the recently adopted constitutional changes by the Georgian parliament will ensure a more pluralist parliament and will play a positive role in Georgia’s democratic development.
We have also taken a genuine portion of the OSCE/ODIHR election recommendations into account. We have spared no efforts to further develop the election environment in the country,” Gakharia said.
Gakharia praised the role of US Ambassador Kelly Degnan for further strengthening strategic cooperation between the US and Georgia.