Giorgi Gakharia’s Meeting with Michael Pompeo

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 14:43

You are a true friend of this country. We are grateful for your personal and the United States support of our strategic partnership, the most important partnership of this country, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated during today's meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

The Head of State emphasized US-Georgia strategic partnership and thanked the US Secretary of State for his visit to Georgia.

"Of course, we are thankful for the United States support in combating COVID. As you know, we have a very successful story of cooperation, meaning Lugar Laboratory, which is key to Georgia's response to COVID. First of all, I would like to underline that we really appreciate the continuous support of the US people and Government for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. You know how important it is to our country with its territories occupied and occupation forces on our soil. Our strategic partnership is based, first of all, on values: freedom, democracy, and shared geostrategic interests. In this very turbulent time in the region, we understand that we have to discuss these issues, and this is a great opportunity for us to discuss very important issues of deepening the cooperation between the US and Georgia in defense and security, economy, and consolidating democracy. I would like to assure you, we feel that this is a great momentum for enhancing our cooperation, for enhanced partnership between our countries, for enhanced US presence in this region. So, welcome once again, and we are very thankful that you found time for this visit," Giorgi Gakharia addressed Michael Pompeo.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo thanked the Head of Georgian Government for hospitality and emphasized the years-long friendly relations between the two countries.

"Mister Prime Minister, it is great to be here. We have many important topics to discuss today, and these points have been well taken in. The world, and certainly Georgia, is in the middle of a terrible challenge from the virus that was released from China. We will address this together, keep our people safe, and get our economies back up and going again. This is central for the prosperity of your country, region, and the world.
We have been great friends for almost 30 years now. We support your democracy, and we have worked together all this time, and we recognize all the pain and difficulty connected to the occupation of your country. And we will do everything we can to support your democratic process, the building up of the institutions in ways that are important for free and fair elections, and all other things that come with robust debate and democracy. And I thank you hosting me again. I appreciate it," Michael Pompeo said.

The parties discussed the key directions of Georgia-US strategic partnership and prospects of deepening the strong cooperation between the countries.

The Head of Government singled out the invaluable support from the US in the fight against the pandemic and thanked the strategic partner state.

Attention was paid to the state of affairs in Georgia and the region, alongside Georgia-US cooperation for strengthening regional and international security.

The Head of Government, during the meeting with the Secretary of State, emphasized the dire security and humanitarian situation in Georgia's occupied regions.

The Secretary of State reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States of America for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The meeting underlined cooperation for further strengthening trade and economic relations and Georgia's democratic development. The Prime Minister singled out the crucially important role of the US in Georgia's democratic development.

According to Giorgi Gakharia, the visit by the Secretary of State reiterates the robustness of Georgia-US strategic partnership and the commitment of the two countries to continuing this cooperation in order to build on the existing partnership based on shared values.

The enhanced-format high-level meeting at the Administration of the Government was attended from the American side by Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia Kelly Degnan, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ricky Waddell, and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State Mary Kissel, and from the Georgian side by Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US Davit Bakradze, and Head of the Government Administration Natia Mezvrishvili.

After the meeting, the US Secretary of State, together with the Prime Minister, enjoyed Tbilisi's views from the balcony of the Government's Administration.

Press Service of the Government Administration

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  • Statements Made Today by Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting

    Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. It was stated by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.

    As also noted by him, targeted restrictions resulted in a positively declining trend, though 1500 cases a day is still a high indicator for a country like Georgia.

    "Almost a year has passed since we all together started a fight against the pandemic and this process continues both domestically and globally. As of today, we have 1177 cases resulting from the targeted restrictions that were imposed to lead to such a positively declining trend over 2 recent months. Nevertheless, we should all understand that in absolute numbers about 1500 COVID-19 cases a day is still a high number for Georgia. Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. We all see what is happening in Europe. Situation is worsening everywhere. Restrictions are getting tighter elsewhere, though we will extend the current restrictions in the country till February 1 in this case" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

    According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, relevant agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Health are actively working with representatives of the real economy and businesses to come up with specific measures and to create a possibility for reopening the economy as early and effectively as possible.

    "These are test schemes, matters relating to vaccination and others. The Ministry of Health will be submitting a plan that we worked on together with representatives of real economy and businesses. We will have to slightly adjust our scheme of work for the upcoming phase to make sure that our fight with the epidemic gets successful, enabling us to effectively reopen the economy. We see 3 new priorities in the fight with the pandemic. First one is to adjust the scheme of testing. You may well be aware that the volume of testing has been increased in the country and we should continue doing so. Second and equally important is to maintain targeted restrictions wherever needed, which have served to be effective. Vaccination is of course among our priorities" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

    According to the Head of Government of Georgia, citizens will have all the quality vaccines that get authorization by the applicable international organizations.

    "A lot of nonsense has been rumoured in relation to vaccination and we cannot even guess where these ideas or information come from. Designated Commission is established on matters related to vaccination, which is led by the Ministry of Health. The Commission has several aims and goals to achieve. First one is to address all the issues related to logistics. You may well be aware that different vaccines have different logistic regimes. Also, everything should be prepared for the readiness of the country to launch the actual vaccination. Second one is to define those target groups that will be vaccinated as a priority in the first instance. Third one is to ensure the supply of quality vaccines of international authorisation as early as possible not only through COVAX platform, but through other means as well. First two goals have already been dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a plan exists. They will be submitting it to the Council on Monday and will be endorsed at the upcoming Executive Government Meeting. Thus, no basis exists for any question marks. I once again stress that citizens of Georgia are to receive all those quality vaccines that will be authorised by applicable international organizations" stated Giorgi Gakharia.

    In addition, targeted social assistance of citizens continues and applications are being lodged from individuals, who lost jobs in the second wave of the pandemic.

    The Prime Minister of Georgia also explained that social allowances will be paid from January 28, 2021.

    "It is 1200 GEL for 6 months. I wish to urge every citizen of the country to lodge their applications as soon as possible. As of today, 45 000 such applications have been uploaded to our portal" noted Giorgi Gakharia.

    The Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia has ruled to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. Applicable permission was issued today by the Government to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Executive Government Meeting.

    "Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia should be given permission to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. You may well be aware that it has a very important social significance for our citizens living in high terrain regions of the country, especially in winter and especially in Tusheti. Relevant means of mobility should be provided. It has been ensured for years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support of the Government and this program continues" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

    The Head of Government of Georgia also commented on the recent incidents occurring in Buknari village. In the opinion of Giorgi Gakharia, religious diversity is a wealth of the country and authorities are prepared to act in the most decisive manner every time an attempt occurs causing friction between the citizens of Georgia on religious grounds.

    "Religious diversity is a historic reality and it is our wealth. We have been building our statehood over centuries. The Government of Georgia has always been and will remain to be a guarantor for each citizen to exercise their human freedoms and rights as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia. We will never let anyone to limit human freedoms and rights in any form, though will neither allow anyone to provoke a friction between community members on religious grounds with any unlawful action. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already been instructed on this matter. The State and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will act in the most decisive manner wherever a slight, plain attempt occurs leading to or provoking a friction between community members on religious grounds" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.


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  • Inter-Agency Coordination Council Rules COVID Restrictions be Kept till February 1

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