US Department of State publishes Joint Declaration on 10th Anniversary of U.S. – Georgia Strategic Partnership
US Department of State publishes Joint Declaration on 10th Anniversary of U.S. – Georgia Strategic Partnership

On June 11, 2019, the US Department of State published a joint declaration in recognition of the 10th anniversary of US-Georgia Strategic Partnership and the core principles of friendship between the two states.

“Since 2009, the United States and Georgia have worked together to support Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We have fought together, and our armed forces have sacrificed together in Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States has supported Georgia’s integration into the global economy to our mutual benefit. The United States continues to welcome and support Georgia’s reforms.

The United States and Georgia recognize that a strong and resilient Georgia is best able to stand against the aggressive actions of Russia and defend its sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. We intend to continue enhancing Georgia’s defense readiness so Georgia can maintain a NATO-interoperable military capable of territorial defense, deterring aggression, and supporting global security. Georgia has the right to choose its security partners. The United States stands by the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit decision, reaffirmed at the 2018 Brussels Summit, that Georgia will become a member of NATO. Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance contains all practical tools to prepare for eventual membership. The United States and Georgia remain committed to the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict and implementation of August 12, 2008, Ceasefire Agreement, including the withdrawal of Russian forces to pre-2008 positions.

The United States and Georgia recognize that a resilient and pluralistic democracy, free and fair elections, an independent media, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, rule of law, transparent and accountable governance, and vibrant civil society are necessary to support Georgia’s development and resist foreign malign influence. We intend to work with all stakeholders to foster a more independent judiciary, ensure a level playing field and promote democratic elections, bolster media pluralism, further strengthen checks and balances, including of Georgia’s security and law enforcement sectors, and share best practices on meaningful parliamentary oversight.

The United States and Georgia recognize that prosperity depends on job growth, an open investment climate that follows development best practices, and the free flow of goods, energy, and services. We intend to increase bilateral trade and investment, foster internationally accepted business practices and support Georgia’s aspirations to increase regional connectivity, enhance energy security, and become a transit and logistics hub. Building on earlier commitments to advance the USTR-led High-Level Trade and Investment Dialogue by exploring various options, both sides agreed to take practical steps to further deepen and broaden our economic partnership.

The United States and Georgia recognize that people-to-people contacts enhance our mutual understanding and add to the vibrancy of our cultures. We intend to enhance educational, cultural, and scientific connections, work to inoculate our populations against the rise of malign propaganda and disinformation, and act together to implement peace initiatives to strengthen connections between communities divided by the Russian occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.

The United States and Georgia reaffirm our commitment to our partnership, based on our shared values and common interests, and to the benefit of both of our countries and our peoples,” reads the declaration.

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