SHAHEEN MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF GEORGIA, MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI

March 16, 2011

(Washington, D.C.)-U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs and the Co-Chair of the Atlantic Council Task Force on Georgia, today met with Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili. The pair discussed the U.S.-Georgia relationship as well as Georgia’s democratic and economic reform initiatives and Georgia’s military commitment in Afghanistan.

“Today’s meeting with Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili was informative and productive. I had the opportunity to thank Georgia for its significant military commitment to the NATO fight in Afghanistan. I also emphasized the importance of Georgia proceeding down the path of reform and am encouraged by President Saakashvili’s robust support for strengthening Georgia’s democracy, economy, and civil society,” Shaheen said. “Georgia is an important ally to the United States and I reconfirmed our commitment to deepening this critical relationship.”

Senator Shaheen has been a leader in strengthening the U.S.-Georgia relationship.

During today’s meeting, Saakashvili thanked Shaheen for her lead on a resolution last year on Georgia’s territorial integrity. She and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) introduced the resolution last year. It will be reintroduced later this year to be considered by the full U.S. Senate. 

Shaheen and Graham (R-SC) currently co-chair a bipartisan task force on Georgia.  The task force, sponsored by the Atlantic Council, was launched on the second anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war and aims to encourage a bipartisan consensus on policy toward Georgia. 

Shaheen met with Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri last October. In August 2009, on the first anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war, Shaheen, as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, convened a hearing examining U.S. policies in the Caucasus region and assessing the political, economic, and security situation in Georgia in light of ongoing instability and the continued presence of Russian troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgian Ambassador to the United States Temuri Yakobashvili also attended today’s meeting.

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