Statement of Tedo Japaridze, Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, Parliament of Georgia

13 May 2016
Statement of Tedo Japaridze, Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee, Parliament of Georgia

Congressional Georgian Caucus Co-Chairman, Ted Poe, on 10th May issued a Statement in support of Georgia and Georgia’s bid to join NATO.

Congressman Poe is a long-standing friend of Georgia and has been a point of reference for administrations in Tbilisi. Ahead of the Warsaw summit, his statement is a gesture that is as welcome and as significant as it has ever been.

But, I would like to draw particular attention to two points in his intervention on the floor of the US Congress:

First, on the fact that honorable Ted Poe expresses solidarity with Georgia, in keeping with a long-standing tradition of US engagement in the world as a beacon of democracy. In citing none-other than President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Poe recalls that the United States “shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, and oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

Secondly, it should be noted that that Congressman Poe is citing a Democratic President, thereby honoring a tradition of principles that are deeply American and go across party lines. That is an important lesson for Georgia, which, as Congressman Poe notes, does share western values, if not western political traditions at all times. Everyone can recognize that democratic development is now common knowledge in Washington, as it is in Brussels and, also, in Tbilisi. The overwhelming majority of Georgians and the Georgian government are in favor of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

That is a fact. Indeed, this is our point of departure, a point of consensus for our society. These are not points to debate on but to celebrate. That “common knowledge” is something we own, as a political system in Georgia, friends and opponents alike and mainly next generation.

And that is something worth noting, nodding, and celebrating.