Remarks With Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at Camera Spray Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York, NY
September 21, 2009

Date: 09/21/2009 Description: Secretary Clinton meets with Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. © State Dept Image by Michael GrossSECRETARY CLINTON: (Inaudible) many good friends (inaudible) the United States supports both in terms of your territorial integrity and sovereignty. We are working to try to ensure that Russia abides by the 2008 ceasefire, and hopefully to eventually reintegrate your country as it should be.

We also know that working toward democracy and the changes that you’re attempting to achieve are challenging, but we want to support and encourage the steps that need to be taken. And the United States supports Georgia, and we want to make that very clear and unequivocal statement here today.

PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Madame Secretary, it’s an incredible honor for all of us be here. I mean, we’ve been very grateful for all the support you’ve given us when – for the past several years, you in capacity of senator, and as serving Secretary of State, as well as this Administration. In fact, with this Administration, we had the new level of cooperation (inaudible) foreign minister was there with you (inaudible) the strategic partnership. I also saw your article this morning in FT Financial Times of London, and it was very impressive because the message was very clear-cut, very unambiguous, and it really resonates very well (inaudible) Georgia as well the whole region. And we are very grateful to you for that moral clarity, as well as strategic vision of what U.S. role in our region should be.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Well, as I said in the article and I will repeat, we think this approach is much more effective, and it will certainly cover Georgia and the Caucasus and it will send a clear message that the United States is committed to the defense of all of Europe in the years going forward. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, do you have any reaction to Zelaya – (laughter) – just quickly on Zelaya’s return to Honduras?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I have nothing to add right now.

QUESTION: I’m the one questioner today. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good. (Laughter.)

PRN: 2009/T12-3