Georgian Parliament Speaker Concludes U.S. Visit
Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, who was on a working visit to the United States on February 5-10, met with U.S. lawmakers, including co-chair of the U.S. Congressional Georgia Caucus Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who is one of the authors of the letters sent to Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia since December 2019.
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Congressman Kinzinger tweeted earlier today that he had a “productive meeting” with Speaker Talakvadze last Thursday, where they both “reaffirmed” their “shared goals for the U.S.-Georgia relationship.”
However, he noted that after the dialogue with various political parties involved in Georgia’s political crisis, it became apparent that “there would continue to be unresolved differences between the opposition and the ruling party.”
Democracy is not easy, and while protests are normal in a free country, they must remain peaceful. As well, citizens should live with the assurance that their justice system will be fair to all, independent, and without regard for political affiliation”, Kinzinger tweeted.
He further noted that in Georgia, “compromises must be made by all parties involved to achieve the democracy and freedoms they seek.” “As co-chair of the House Georgia Caucus, I remain steadfastly committed to the strong and enduring U.S.-Georgia relationship,” Kinzinger concluded.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 10, 2020
In response to Kinzinger’s tweet, Speaker Talakvadze wrote on his Facebook that the U.S. is Georgia’s number one strategic partner and friend. “We will continue to contribute to strengthening the global peace, security and freedom shoulder to shoulder with you,” Talakvadze stated.
“I very much appreciate your support to my country. I am convinced that under your leadership as co-Chair of the House Georgia Caucus, bilateral ties between our countries will get even stronger,” he addressed Kinzinger, adding that the Government of Georgia “will remain committed to achieving positive results.”
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According to Talakvadze, on the first day of his visit to Washington DC on February 6, he met over 20 Congressmen and Senators, as well as attended the annual National Prayer Breakfast together with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani and Georgian Ambassador to U.S. Davit Bakradze.
On February 7, the Georgian Parliament Speaker met separately with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Reeker, and the Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, Brock Bierman.
Productive meeting & frank exchange w/ Georgia's Speaker of Parliament Talakvadze. Reiterated our interest in seeing meaningful electoral reform passed early this legislative session. Important to level playing field & restore confidence before 2020 parliamentary elections. pic.twitter.com/PNQ1174sXR
— Brock Bierman (@BBiermanUSAID) February 7, 2020
As part of his U.S. visit, the Georgian parliamentary delegation, led by Archil Talakvadze, met with Georgian students, participating in the United Nations Youth Assembly, as well as attended a Sunday service at the Georgian Orthodox church in Philadelphia. According to Georgian Parliament’s press office, Talakvadze held meetings in the U.S. State Department as well.
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