Remarks With Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze Before Their Meeting

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
November 29, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the new Georgian Foreign Minister here to Washington. This is the 20th anniversary of our diplomatic relations and we are very much looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Georgian Government and the Georgian people. The parliamentary election in October was a successful and important step on the further development of democracy in Georgia, and the move toward fulfilling the Euro-Atlantic aspirations that Georgia has.

We are very much supportive of the peaceful transition to power that occurred as a result of this election by the new government, and we do hope that everything that is done with respect to prosecuting any potential wrongdoers is done transparently in accord with due process and the rule of law as is befitting of the Georgia dream and the aspirations and sensitivities of the Georgian people.

So we’re very much looking forward to this meeting today and the meetings to come as we work to not only support Georgia at home but also the many areas that we’re already working with Georgia, in Afghanistan, in the NATO-Georgia Commission, and so much else. So Foreign Minister, welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER PANJIKIDZE: Thank you very much, Madam Secretary. It’s a big honor for me to be here, and thank you very much to invite me so soon after the elections in Georgia. I will never forget your phone call, which was very pleasant. And I’m very happy to be here today, and I’m sure we can discuss the issues of our cooperation with the United States. We are very proud that the United States are our strategic partner. And we will talk about the domestic and foreign challenges Georgia is facing today and I hope you will understand our issues and we will count on your help and support in the future.

So I’m very happy to be here and to have such interesting meetings. But first of all, thank you very much for inviting me to Washington.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you, Minister. Thank you all very much.

PRN: 2012/1872