Remarks Before Participation in the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission With Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Remarks
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Chancellery
Tbilisi, Georgia
July 6, 2016


PRIME MINISTER KVIRIKASHVILI: Thank you very much Secretary Kerry. We appreciate your presence here, it’s very important. And thank you especially – and thank you for (inaudible) and your support for Georgia.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much, Prime Minister. I’m delighted to be here. I’ve been here before. I have a strong sense of the challenges that Georgia has faced, but we’ve been proud to be very much a part of helping you define the future. The United States has proudly contributed some $4.3 billion and we are working very hard on the strategic onus of the partnership, defense. I’m happy to stop here right before I go to the NATO Warsaw Summit, because obviously, I know your membership is much on your mind and an important consideration. But we respect the reforms that you’ve been instituting, the efforts you’re making to make sure your election is as fair and accountable and transparent as possible, which is all extremely important in terms of helping move down the road. So I’m very happy to be here again. Thank you for your nice welcome, appreciate it.

PRIME MINISTER KVIRIKASHVILI: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Thank you.

(Break.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Sorry to keep everybody standing around (inaudible).

QUESTION: A business lunch?

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah, we did everything (inaudible). (Laughter.)

PRIME MINISTER KVIRIKASHVILI: Secretary Kerry, welcome back. We are very glad to see you here. We appreciate your visit. We appreciate your support to Georgia. Which is especially important now before the NATO summit, your reinforced U.S. support to Georgia. We are very, very greatful for your supporting territorial integrity, sovereignty. I’m very glad that we are holding today’s strategic partnership chapter (inaudible). We have prepared tangible deliverables on these issues. We are especially glad to sign the memorandum of cooperation in defense and security, expanded cooperation, and in exchange for (inaudible) products from U.S.A. and we thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you, Prime Minister. On behalf of my delegation and particularly on behalf of President Obama and the American people, we’re really delighted to be able to share with you in this journey that you are on, 25 years of independence, and moving in an exciting direction to embrace important reforms. Obviously, we have great respect for your desires as a country to be able to look to the West and engage with the West without punishment, without retribution, without bringing your people to anything except a better position, and we have respect for that. And you’ve embraced important reforms for moving towards an election in October, an important election to strengthen – (ends in progress.)