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Information on the meeting held between the Georgian Prime Minister and the US President and Vice-president

During his visit to the United States of America, the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr Irakli Gharibashvili, held a working meeting on the 24th of February 2014 with the US Vice-President, Mr Joseph Biden, at the White House in Washington. The two were joined by the US President, Mr Barack Obama.

The meeting focused upon the US-Georgia strategic partnership; Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration; and upon the reforms the Georgian government has implemented.

The Georgian Prime Minister drew Mr Biden's attention to the process of erecting barbed-wire fences and other obstacles along the administrative boundary lines of Georgia's occupied regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia, and thanked the US government for its clear-cut position in this regard.

According to Mr Gharibashvili, the Georgian government highly appreciates US condemnation of the erection of such barriers by the Russian occupation army, and hopes that the US will continue to support Georgia over this issue in future.

The Georgian Prime Minister also focused upon relations with NATO and the EU, noting that the process of Georgia's integration with NATO is as dynamic as never.

As Mr Gharibashvili stated during the meeting, Georgia will sign its Association Agreement with the EU by the autumn of 2014, and its government will welcome US willingness to support Georgia in implementing its new commitments.

The Georgian Prime Minister also asked the US Vice-President to continue to support the development of US-Georgia relations, as these are of vital importance to Georgia as it prepares for upcoming elections, to sign its Association Agreement with the EU and for the next NATO Summit.

According to Mr Gharibashvili, negotiations over high-level trade and investment relations between the US and Georgia are of great importance for the Georgian government, and he is waiting for specific steps to be taken towards signing the agreement on free trade between the US and Georgia.

The Georgian Prime Minister invited Mr Biden to Georgia, noting that such a visit would be yet another demonstration of support for Georgia and would underline the importance of maintaining the region's stability.

During his meeting with the US Vice-President, Mr Gharibashvili emphasized that Georgia's democratic development and European and Euro-Atlantic choice will not be reviewed.

According to the Prime Minister, the US remains a strong strategic partner for Georgia and the Georgian government will do everything to bring its strategic partnership with the US to a qualitatively higher level, since the enhancement of bilateral dialogue is one of Georgia's most important foreign policy priorities.

The meeting lasted longer than had been planned.

The Georgian delegation included the Foreign Minister, Ms Maia Panjikidze, the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Mr Aleksi Petriashvili, and the First Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Davit Zalkaliani.

‘Georgia is entering a new phase in the field of co-operation with the USA,' noted the Georgian Prime Minister after his meeting with Mr Obama and Mr Biden, during which issues of mutual co-operation were discussed.

‘The US President and Vice-President reaffirmed their full support for Georgia. They have proved that the USA supports Georgia, and have also confirmed their willingness to develop trade and economic relations between our countries. Generally, it was a positive and productive meeting, and I wish to emphasize that the United States are Georgia's most important strategic partner and that we will do our best to enhance and develop the relationship between our two countries,' Mr Gharibashvili noted.

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