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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signed a Memorandum on Deepening the Defense and Security Partnership Between the United States of America and Georgia

The Memorandum reaffirms and expands U.S.-Georgia bilateral defense and security cooperation in the areas of defense capacity building, military and security cooperation, cyber security provision and information sharing: “The United States and Georgia believe that formalizing a durable and strategic approach to defense and security cooperation increases the security of both countries and positively impacts regional stability and global security. This Memorandum on Deepening the Defense and Security Partnership therefore reaffirms and expands the United States and Georgia’s enduring and effective defense and security cooperation,” says the Memorandum.

The Secretary of State condemned Russia’s occupation and militarization of parts of Georgia’s territory and called on Moscow to abide by the terms of a truce of 2008 brief war between two countries, saying Moscow should withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions:

“The United States stands firm in its commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. The United States recognizes Georgia’s important role as a strategic and reliable partner in the region and continues to support Georgia’s right to make independent and sovereign choices on foreign and security policy, free from external pressure and coercion. The United States commends Georgia’s adherence to the 2008 cease-fire agreement, and welcomes Georgia’s efforts to ensure all its citizens can reach their full potential as members of the Euro-Atlantic community.”

The two sides agreed to boost Georgia-US cooperation in the field of education as well by enhancing the Fulbright exchange program:

“The U.S. government funded three Fulbright Graduate Student Program scholarships in 2016; under the terms of this new agreement, the United States and Georgia envision roughly doubling the number of Georgian students receiving Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States.”

Secretary Kerry also announced the launch of a $15 million, 5-year Economic Resiliency Program administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which seeks to promote economic growth in Georgia’s regions especially along the occupation line:

“This program will develop the skills of Georgian business people and improve income generation in rural households. The primary beneficiaries of this program will be ethnic and religious minorities as well as communities in the vicinity of the Administrative Boundary Lines with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

See the text of Memorandum: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/07/259364.htm

 
 
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