Secretary of State Kerry’s Remarks With Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili Before Their Meeting (July 6)

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Presidential Palace
Tbilisi, Georgia
July 6, 2016

 Dear Secretary Kerry, honorable members of the nation, it’s an honor and a pleasure to host you in Tbilisi. We put a great significance in this visit, especially in – before the upcoming Warsaw summit. Georgia and U.S. relationships are of extreme importance for our nation, for my people. And I know you had a very fruitful meeting and a working meeting with the prime minister and we applaud for the level of the relationships that we see is developing between our nations. We are thankful for your country’s and your personal continuous support to furthering Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic path and for supporting our nation on its sovereignty and on its path to democratic development of Georgia. Welcome to Tbilisi and I’m happy to host you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Mr. President, thank you very much. It’s wonderful for me to have an opportunity to share some thoughts with you, and I thank you and your countrymen – the prime minister, the foreign minister – for their very generous welcome.

The United States is very proud of the relationship that we share and have shared now for 25 years in your independence, your newly won independence. And we have great respect for the contributions that Georgia is making in many different ways. We appreciate your steadfast commitment to Afghanistan, your sacrifices that Georgia has made. We also respect the reforms you’ve put in place in the country and the work you’re doing now to develop your democracy.

Needless to say, your current partnership with NATO is very, very critical and we will be meeting shortly in Warsaw, as you know; we will be there. Look forward to seeing you there. And I think important for you to share with people the steps you’ve taken and the progress you’ve made, and particularly, I think the election coming up this October will be a very important signal to not just NATO, but to the world about Georgia’s commitment to democracy and the direction you’ll be moving in. And I might add very simply that I think that the – all of us – (ends in progress).