Today at the State Department, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H. Gordon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia participated in the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission’s Democracy Working Group, along with Georgian National Security Advisor George Bokeria and Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze. Discussions focused on recognizing Georgia’s reform achievements to date and efforts to further strengthen democratic institutions and electoral processes, media freedom, rule of law, and judicial independence. Georgia will hold parliamentary elections this fall and presidential elections in 2013.
The U.S.-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership was signed by then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze in Washington, DC, on January 9, 2009. The first meeting of the Strategic Partnership Commission, held in Washington, DC, on June 22, 2009, launched four bilateral working groups on priority areas identified in the Charter: democracy; defense and security; economic, trade, and energy issues; and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Senior-level U.S. and Georgian policymakers have led subsequent meetings of each of these working groups to review commitments, update activities, and establish future objectives. Secretary Clinton co-chaired a meeting of the Strategic Partnership Commission on October 6, 2010, in Washington, DC.