Defence Minister Visits USA
8 December 2015

Minister of Defence of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli pays a visit to the United States of America. The first day of the visit was devoted to the meetings with the representatives of the NGOs and leading analytical centers. Minister of Defence of Georgia delivered a public speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In her speech Defence Minister talked about the defence reforms and progress of Georgia in democratic development. She also focuses on the regional security issues and Russia’s policy. Speaking about NATO-Georgia relations Defence Minister declared that NATO Foreign Ministerial was positive with regard to Georgia. The questions from the audience referred to NATO integrations, relationship with Russia and neighboring states and domestic affairs.

“The main goal of such public discussions is to test our arguments and talk about the challenges Georgia faces in order to inform as much people as possible about our achievements, problems and opportunities. We can be proud of the reforms Georgia pursues and we want to inform our partners about our achievements as they might use them in discussion while lobbying Georgia. Our objective is to answer all questions that might emerge in the audience to provide our friends with the additional arguments and exact facts they will use in debates with opponents,” Tinatin Khidasheli said.

According to CSIS Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and Director, Europe Program Heather A. Conley Defence Minister’s speech was very interesting: “We were delighted to host the Minister for an hour long conversation that talked about Georgia’s domestic reforms, Russian influence in Georgia, regional security dynamics and finally Georgia’s future relationship with NATO on the way to the NATO Summit next year in Warsaw, Poland. Minister gave us enormous sense of detail of what is going on in the region, Georgia’s relationship with other countries - Turkey, Azerbaijan and gave the Washington audience a very interesting prospective in to what it feels like to have Russian media propaganda, Russian influence in Georgia. So we had a great conversation and our audience very much appreciated her comments.”

During the first day of the visit Defence Minister also met with the representatives of the National Coalition Supporting the Eurasian Jewry, the former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, President of the National Democratic Institute NDI Ken Wollack, the Chairman of United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Stephen Hadley and President of USIP Dr. Nancy Lindborg. The main topics of the meetings were the regional security environment, Russia’s policy, Georgia’s progress towards NATO membership, results of the NATO Foreign Ministerial Meeting and Georgia’s way from the Ministerial to Warsaw Summit.

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