Georgian President Hosts U.S. Lawmakers

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili hosted today a delegation of the U.S. Congress, led by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE).

“We are here intentionally, we are here because we know Georgia is important… We see the critical steps Georgia is taking in this region and on the world stage,” said Senator Coons during the joint press briefing.

The U.S. Senator took a note of “remarkable progress the Georgian people have made since 1992, despite conflict, division, external threat.”

Expressing hopes that the European Union will welcome Georgia swiftly, Senator Coons said “it is our intention to continue to provide support, investment and development together.”

“And it is our hope that we, each of us, in our republics, can stand strong against the forces that divide us internally and externally.”

The U.S. lawmaker also spoke of Russia’s war in Ukraine and the Georgian response to the conflict.

“We are so grateful for your clear and forceful statement, for your nation’s votes at the United Nations, for the assistance you are providing, both as individuals, as Georgian families, and churches, and communities and as a nation.”

On her part, Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili highlighted that “today, as never before, Georgia needs your support and the strong relationship between our two countries.”

“By coming here, you corroborate that the strategic partnership between Georgia and the United States is not [just] a word, but a reality.”

“Our standing here today is yet another strong signal that no one will give up freedom and independence,” she added.

President Zurabishvili also asserted that the U.S. carries “a great role” in promoting peace and stability in the region, and that U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership serves that very purpose.

“It is important that we work together to ensure the security of the Black Sea and the stability of the Caucasus region,” she said, adding that the U.S. support will have the key role at the upcoming NATO Summit in Madrid to give a new impetus to the open door policy of the Alliance.

Speaking of “unprecedented challenges” stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Zurabishvili said “Ukraine fights not only for its sovereignty and freedom, against the total aggression of Russia, but also for our freedom and peace and those of the whole of Europe.”

“Georgia understands well what war, occupation and the struggle for freedom mean, it understands the price of solidarity,” she continued, “so today, on Maundy Thursday of Passion Week, when they [Russians] want to turn Mariupol into a new Stalingrad, I want to express my full support to the Ukrainian people in your presence.”

Besides Senator Coons, the Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, the U.S. delegation includes Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, and Bob Casey (D-PA), as well as Congresspeople Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Ted Deutch (D-FL).

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