On June 5, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Batumi, Georgia, where she addressed the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission plenary session and delivered remarks at the commissioning of a Georgian Coast Guard ship. In addition, Secretary Clinton met with Georgian President Saakashvili and held discussions with a broad range of political actors and civil society representatives.
At the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission plenary session, Secretary Clinton discussed priorities of this strategic partnership and the steps that lie ahead. She said, "[T]his year marking the 20th anniversary of our diplomatic relations permits us to look back on all that Georgia has achieved in these past years and all the progress our two countries have achieved together. We have many reasons to be optimistic about what the future holds. And let us remember who we are working for. We are working for the people of our countries and the generations that will follow, whose futures will be shaped by the security, prosperity, freedom, and peace that we work together to build today."
Secretary Clinton then delivered remarks at the Coast Guard Ship commissioning. She said, "A strong Georgian Coast Guard will contribute to maritime security on the Black Sea and broader regional stability. Along with more effective border security on land, it will help crack down on the illicit flow of narcotics, human trafficking, and potential weapons of mass destruction. That's vitally important for Georgia, for the region, and the world. But that's not all. This ship and its sister ships represent the resilience of Georgia's national spirit and the endurance of your sovereignty. America stands with you. We will not waver in our support for Georgia and your territorial integrity."
Later, Secretary Clinton and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed a range of issues, including bolstering peace and security to promoting global economic growth and deepening democratic values, during their bilateral meeting. After the meeting, Secretary Clinton and Georgian President Saakashvili addressed reporters. Secretary Clinton said, "The partnership between Georgia and the United States reflects the energy, the entrepreneurship, and the dynamism of our people and societies. Secretary Clinton also expressed gratitude for Georgia's commitment to the ISAF operations in Afghanistan.
Secretary Clinton discussed meeting with leaders of opposition parties and emphasized their vital role in deepening Georgia's democratic development. She said, "The United States believes competing energies and ideas drive the democratic process. Civic activism, open debate, a level playing field, citizens's access to information are all vital as you move toward parliamentary elections and then presidential elections."
In closing, Secretary Clinton said, "The United States remains steadfast in our commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders."
You can follow the Secretary's travel on www.state.gov.