TBILISI (EurasiaNet)–The newly appointed United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Phillip Gordon pledged continued support for Georgia and the country’s territorial integrity on Wednesday at a press conference in Tbilisi following what he called “excellent” talks with Georgian Foreign Minister Girgol Vashadze.
Gordon told journalists that his decision to come to Georgia less than a month after assuming his post was a sign of US support for the country.
The United States, he stressed, supports the process of democratic reforms in Georgia. “The more democratic Georgia is, the better partner for the United States it is,” said Gordon.
“We stand by Georgia. We stand by its territorial integrity,” he said. The United States, he continued, hopes that Russia will make a “pragmatic” decision for regional security when the United Nations Security Council meets in New York on June 15 to discuss the UN monitors’ mandate in Abkhazia.
During his two-day visit, Gordon also met with opposition leaders as well as various senior officials. As with Russia, however, he stuck to the safe and general when addressing Georgia’s domestic situation.
Gordon was in Yerevan on Tuesday as part of the first leg of his regional tour of the South Caucasus. His next stop is Baku.
He told reporters in Yerevan that he believed “there are such important and even historic developments going on in Armenia and the region that I should try to come out here as soon as possible.”
During his visit in Armenia, Gordon met with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian. He also urged Armenia and Turkey to make progress in stalled reconciliation talks aimed at normalizing relations and re-opening their border.