Deputy Secretary William J. Burns today stressed that the United States continues to fully support Georgia’s aspirations to become a member of NATO.
“The United States is deeply proud of the relationship between our two countries. We have a shared interest in advancing democracy; in strengthening peace and security in this region; and in promoting trade between our countries so that both Americans and Georgians can prosper in the new century that is unfolding before us.” -Mr. Burns
Mr. Burns highlighted that the American people deeply appreciate Georgia’s contribution of troops to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
“President Obama has stressed on many occasions, the United Stated remains strongly committed to the full sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.” -Mr. Burns
He noted that the United States wants to use the U.S. – Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission to broaden and deepen their cooperation further, including in defense, trade, energy security, strengthening democratic institutions, people to people, and cultural exchanges.
He emphasized that through the commission and all of other contacts, they will do all they can to support Georgia’s emerging democratic institutions and to support the development of a vibrant civil society, a free and independent media, and rule of law based on judicial independence.
“We urge Georgia to conduct democratic reforms, inclusively and transparently, and to strengthen accountability. We urge Georgia to reform the electoral code and to develop a political environment to ensure free and fair elections over the next two years so that there is a fully democratic transition of power in 2013.” -Mr. Burns