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Saakashvili meets with Hillary Clinton

02.02.12 10:02

Georgia is a valued partner and the interest towards Georgia is very great - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton welcomed President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday.

`Georgia is a valued partner. They are actively participating in Afghanistan, where Georgian soldiers are showing great courage and professionalism. We are pursuing a system of consultations to determine the way forward on further trade and investment. There’s a lot of work going on in our bilateral consultations on education, on health, on good governance, on rule of law, on defense and security cooperation. So, the president’s had a very busy week here and there are more people for him to see,` Mrs. Clinton said.

In his turn Mikheil Saakashvili thanked the Secretary of State for great support which Georgian has always had from the side of the United States.

Thank you, Madam Secretary. First of all, I would like to express utmost gratitude for your strong support, not just in words but in action, for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and independence, because it’s lots of daily work. It’s a great struggle. Sometimes it’s like uphill struggle because it’s against the forces that are trying to undermine us. And your personal participation, President Obama’s personal backing for it was – it goes without saying, and that’s something that we really appreciate a lot. And certainly, I walked out also from this office, but also from the Oval Office where we were also present, totally elated because I heard everything I wanted to hear. And I mean, it’s – I’ve been in there before. But this time, because the country has also matured – my country has also matured up to the challenges – I think we now are moving to another level in cooperation. And with free trade agreement, nobody could have imagined that Georgia would ever start to qualify for that a few years ago. The next level of defense cooperation – and we are proud to serve with you in Afghanistan – was unimaginable a couple of years ago,` Saakashvili said.

The meeting was held at  3 p.m. local time and the president and the Secretery Clinton made statements for media.

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