US Vice President Mike Pence pays a visit to Georgia
01 August, 2017
US Vice President Mike Pence pays a visit to Georgia
The US Vice President has visited Georgia within the framework of the European tour. Mike Pence’s visit will end on August 1.

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US Vice President Mike
Pence met with several opposition leaders within his visit to Georgia.

In particular, Mike Pence is meeting the leader of the United National Movement - Nika Melia, the leader of the European Georgia - Davit Bakradze, the leader of the Free Democrats - Shalva Shavgulidze and the leader of the Movement of Construction - Davit Usupashvili.

“US President Donald Trump has sent me with a simple message for your government and the great and grave Georgian people: We are with you! We stand with you in the service of freedom and our common values,” - US Vice President Mike Pence said in his toast at the official dinner hosted by the Prime Minister of Georgia.

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"Mr. Prime Minister, I am very glad that we are meeting again. It was especially pleasant to meet your wife, Maia, and to share stories about our children. It was a great honor for me personally and for the President to host you in the White House. Thank you for your warm welcome, for the heat you give my wife and me in your most beautiful country. Let me convey greetings from the US president. He has sent me here with a very simple message for you, your government and the great and brave Georgian people: We are with you! We stand together with you in the service of freedom and our shared values! "- Noted the Vice President of the United States.

Mike Pence is convinced that the strong ties between the two countries and the love for freedom and independence will be further strengthened by the leadership of the Prime Minister of Georgia and President Donald Trump.

"I am especially grateful for Tuesday's scheduled meetings, for the opportunity to meet with your and the American armed forces that cooperate in joint operations. Today we celebrate our partnership and friendship. This tasteful Georgian feast in front of us is as charming and pleasant as I had heard of it. So thank you for your heartfelt hospitality. My wife and I are grateful for the opportunity to taste the Georgian legendary cuisine and warm welcome. Dishes, songs, dances, which we will soon enjoy, are as great as everything in your country and we thank you for sharing all this.

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During millenniums, Georgians have proved their courage and love for independence, their readiness to fight for what they believed in. In this regard, you are distinguished with the spirit characteristic of our land, the spirit of independence, which is common in Georgians and Americans. As soon as we arrived in your city, my wife and I were impressed by your citizens who met us by waving American and Georgian flags. This was really strong emotion for us”, - Said the US Vice President.

According to him, it is an honor for him to represent the United States of America in the country with the oldest culture.

“Let me drink a toast to your family and this great nation! On behalf of the Unites States of America, let me drink a toast to free, united and prosperous Georgia!”, - Said Mike Pence in his toast.

“America has always been with us and that is why we stand beside you to support your efforts for a peaceful world,” - Said Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili at the official dinner hosted for the US Vice President. He said that it was a great honor for the Georgian nation to host Vice President Mike Pence and the American delegation in Georgia.

"It is particularly noteworthy that during your visit – this year, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our states. In this short period of time Georgia has turned from a country divided by the civil war into a modern, European democracy. The friendship and assistance from the United States was crucial for our success. America is Georgia's strategic partner. We are grateful to America, its support was crucial for Georgia's development. Despite the external challenges, military threats and cybercrimes, Georgia's desire to maintain domestic and regional peace is unchanged. The US is a loyal friend, a reliable geopolitical ally and a strategic partner of Georgia. It is a partner with whom we share common values and global security priorities. Our goal is to regain our own place in the family of European states. Over the past few years, we have taken measures to achieve Euro-Atlantic integration, be it the agreement with the European Union on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area or closer cooperation with NATO.

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Vice President Pence, I am glad that you are going to address the participants of the Noble Partner program - our brave soldiers. Special ties and their unprecedented dedication bring closer our military forces - they are now fighting against extremism side by side and we should keep these links. Every day, I am impressed by their courage and self-sacrifice, which is a precondition for the security of our states. There is really a brotherly connection between us. America has always been with us and that is why we stand beside you to support your efforts to ensure a peaceful world," said the PM.

The Prime Minister of Georgia declared at the official dinner that his intention is to fulfill a function of linking Georgia with the US.

"I'd like fulfill a function of linking Georgia with the US based on the experience that I, as a student, got during taking my master’s degree program in America.
In the 90s, studying at America's best university was almost unimaginable. At this time, exactly in that period, I had the opportunity to get master's degree at the Illinois University. This was a program funded by the US Department of State. This experience really changed my life. Apart from studying at the university, the time spent in Illinois created my imagination about America and its values. I remember the generosity and friendly attitude of the people living in the central part of the United States. They accepted me to their family from their first day and I still feel like being a member of this big, American family. The wonderful feeling of American optimism has assisted me many times in the state service after returning to the homeland. This feeling still helps me every day. It consistently reminds me that there is no insurmountable resistance, that what we believe in is very important. This spirit reminds me that friends have great importance, while there is nothing more important than close friends," - Kvirikashvili noted.

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According to him, Georgians particularly care about the friendship between the US and Georgia and the values that so closely link us to each other.

"Mr. Vice President, Georgia has been observing your visit to Estonia, where you have mentioned in the name of the President of the United States that “America does not mean America alone", - we appreciate this impressive statement.

“Vice-President Pence, I want to say that Georgians particularly care about the friendship between the US and Georgia and the values that so closely link us to each other, "- said the Prime Minister.

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“We received a clear support from the Vice President of the United Nations regarding the security of Georgia and the country's territorial integrity,” - Davit Bakradze, the leader of the European Georgia, told journalists after the meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence.

"There was a very clear message that the new US administration and President Trump continue to pursue a clear policy in support of Georgia's security, which is the greatest guarantee that in the future Georgia will necessarily be united, will be a NATO member and a protected and successful country, such as Estonia today, from where the US Vice President has arrived, and such as Montenegro, where he goes from Georgia. The messages and the route of Mike Pence’s visit unequivocally confirm the US strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity," - Davit Bakradze told journalists.

According to him, during the meeting with the opposition, there was an open discussion and support for Georgia's NATO integration.

According to Davit Bakradze, the conversation touched upon the internal development of the country and the problems existing in this direction.

“The US has greatly interested Georgia to be a stable democracy. Stable democracy is the key to our security, Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development. All this depends on the democratic development of the country," - Davit Bakradze explained.

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“I’ve offered to the Vice President the following formula: If they say - USA first, Georgia next, we will say - Georgia first, USA next, and we have agreed on it”, - Davit Usupashvili, the leader of the Movement of Construction, told journalists after the meeting between the opposition and US Vice President Mike Pence.

Usupashvili said that the meeting with Mike Pence focused on continuing close cooperation between Georgia and the US.

He said that emphasis was made on strengthening of economics, without which Georgia cannot play the role what the US sees in Georgia.

"Speaking on the topic of security, it was noted that Estonia-Georgia-Montenegro was a very good choice. This is a message for our friends in Europe that Eastern Europe has more role in ensuring world security and other issues. This is a clear message for the enemies that Georgia is not and will not be alone,"- Davit Usupashvili told journalists.

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As for the Second Lady of the United States, Karen Pence, she has met patients and therapists of Psycho-Social Rehabilitation Center Kamara. Karen Pence paid a visit the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, where she talked to several patients of Camara and view their artwork.

Karen Pence also met with the art therapy of Georgia by Kamara therapists: Natia Panjikidze, Nino Komakhidze and Salome Panjikidze.

Karen Pence's initiative is to support art therapy. According to the US Embassy, Karen Pence has supported art therapy more than a decade all over the world. She visits art therapy centers and meets with art therapists. Her purpose is to present the profession so that the society becomes aware of it - art therapy is an independent discipline.

After the art therapy visit, Mrs. Pence visited an exhibit of paintings inspired by Robert Frost’s poems at the Tbilisi History Museum Karvasla.



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