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Obama, Saakashvili Discuss Free-Trade Pact

U.S. President Barack Obama (right) welcomes his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, to the White House on January 30.
U.S. President Barack Obama (right) welcomes his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, to the White House on January 30.
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have discussed security cooperation and a possible free-trade agreement at a White House meeting.

Obama told the Georgian leader that a free-trade agreement (FTA) with Tbilisi was a "possibility" and would be a "win-win" situation for both countries.

Obama said "a lot of work" needed to be done prior to crafting an agreement, which would eliminate tariffs, quotas, and other trade restrictions.

"We think [a free-trade agreement would be] a win-win [situation] for the United States and for Georgia, as we continue to find opportunities for businesses to invest in Georgia, for us to be able to sell Georgia our goods and services, and Georgia to be able to sell theirs as well," Obama said.

Saakashvili said a free-trade pact would help Georgia's evolution as a nation.

"It's very important that you mentioned, obviously, [the] prospect of a free-trade agreement with Georgia, because that's going to attract a lot of additional activity to my country and basically help in our nation-building process," Saakashvili said.

'Concrete Deliverables'

Amid a strong diplomatic push by the United States, Georgia in October dropped its opposition to Russia's admission into the World Trade Organization. U.S. interest in building stronger economic ties to Georgia is being seen by some observers as appreciation for Tbilisi's cooperation.

Zoe Reyners, a spokeswoman for the Georgian Embassy in Washington, told RFE/RL that talk of deepened economic ties was one among a number of the highlights of the meeting for the Georgian side.

"There are three specific points that we were very happy about -- that were concrete deliverables for us," Reyners said. "The first one is that Obama is favorable to setting up a high-level committee on trade cooperation and even explore the [possibility] of an FTA. The second thing is in terms of security cooperation. The key word was the 'elevation' of security cooperation -- enhancing the Georgian capacities of self-defense. Finally, President Obama praised Georgia as a role model in terms of reforms for the region."

Obama also reaffirmed U.S. support for Georgia's long-held desire to join NATO and thanked the country for its contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. He called Tbilisi "one of the most dedicated contributors outside of NATO."

A NATO summit set for this May in Chicago is expected to take up the issue of membership for the Caucasus state.

'Pluralistic Political Scene'

The U.S. president congratulated Georgia on 20 years of independence and on reforms made since the Rose Revolution ushered Saakashvili into power eight years ago.

He said Georgia should be "extraordinarily proud" of its progress and status as a "responsible player on the world scene."

Obama also said he anticipated fair and free elections in this October's parliamentary vote and 2013's presidential election.

Saakashvili pledged the elections will create a "diversified and pluralistic political scene."

In January, both the United States and the European Union said the new Georgian Electoral Code law does not adequately address "perceptions of inequality within the electoral system."

Critics say the law fails to address past criticisms by international election monitors or to incorporate proposals by opposition parties that might undercut the ruling party's large parliamentary majority.

Saakashvili has also been accused of cracking down on dissent and restricting the media.

Written by Richard Solash
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Comment Sorting
by: MP from: washington DC
January 30, 2012 16:45

by: Nils Tore Gjerde from: Solliv 97b. Molde. Norway
January 30, 2012 19:08
Russia must withdraw all its forces fra Georgian - and Moldavian territory. This military Russian presence is a threat to peace and securety in Europe. South- Ossetia and Abkhazia is not independent countries - tis is a Russian joke. In fact these parts of Georga is no a part nof Russia - under Russian domination and occupation.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 31, 2012 09:18
:-))))))))) Yours is one of the best comments on this forum ever :-))). You know what: just make Russia withdraw all its forces from everywhere - for such a powerful union of values as NATO - which is performing that impressively in Afghanistan over the last 10 years - this will not represent any kind of difficulty :-)). And good luck :-))!
In Response

by: Condor
January 31, 2012 14:53
Don't worry yugo. Chechens will finish off Russia one way or the other. Just sit back and relax. They established Sharia laws in Chechnya. None of the Russian laws work there. These guys are stubborn, and they are coming for you.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
January 31, 2012 15:53
To "Condor": Ok, Condorcito, I'll be waiting :-)). Just tell me how long :-).
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 31, 2012 21:49
Your irony is like double aged sword
(tem zhe serpom po tem zhe y....m - Russ.),

NATO as the Russian military, have apetite, true.
USSR's ethnic Russia genocidized Afghan people
And prepare since 1954 and do to non-Russians too.
USA went after Ben-Laden after 9/11, being quite bitter.

However, brainwashed by Russia media and Shwartckov,
Tried match Russian genocide, to kill 2 millions of Iraqies.
They stopped, killed only tenth of it, infuriating Arab World.
Trying fix USA unruliness, help came from the Americans.

Trying make Afghanistan independent country while leave,
Even help Afghans get mineral wealth, USA anger Russia.
Insurgency staff appendics into new born child and hease.
To kill again with Invading Russia and eat them like kasha?

For whose bolls is your "serp" swinging, Eugenio?

In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 01, 2012 02:34
This really does it, Condor! Or is it "Rodnok"?

British Normans and Russian Varangas know.
Germans and Austrians know.
All of the above relatives in US know and runing USA.
All of us knew it, when Russians since 1954 plot with Bechtel
and British, running on streets, saying they'll destroy
non-Russians and they'll influx Russians in their lands and homes - they would create only ethnic Russians Special Force
and GRU shape-shifters, including 2,000 Chechens and 2,000
others, mostly from North Caucasus - children of WW2 War
criminals, dressed-up as Muslim fanatics-terrorists to kill
non-Russian nationals.

Why did they fought against Georgia in Abkhazia, as part of Russian armies of death and later infiltrated South Osetia in 2008?

All World knows that, but chose to play the game, ordered to do so by resurectors of Russian, British and Germano-Austrian
colonial empires of serfery.
Serbia played - and payed.
Milosovich tried to say the truth during his trial - they killed him
by "Non Lethal Weapons", or "Lemurs" or both.
They doing it to me for many years, but unlike Milosovich that was stacked in small cell, I am moving from room to room
and use some remedies...

The North Caucasians are very intelligent and good natured
people - the rest is plot of Russia to lie to the World and to
repopulate neighbouring countries!
Chechens just want to be free, but they are occupied by Russians that use "Sharia" to mortify normal Chechens by
cut-off heads of their family members!

Playing with Eugenio "bad Rashka" - "good Rashka"?

by: Jack from: US
January 30, 2012 19:26
what is the sense in "confirming" what does not exist and will not exist? like confirming BigFoot or "Georgia's territorial integrity". The fascistic mini-empire of rump "republic of Georgia" will never be able to oppress people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia again, no matter how many times US government "confirms" it. It will only show how much credibility US government retains
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 31, 2012 01:05
Mr. Jack forgot to add, that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two nests -where gangs killed thousands of women and children and Aboriginal people expelled.

Please Jack when you're talking about Abkhazia, do not forget to mention that they live under the laws of racism and apartheid.

In accordance with Article 49 of the gangster Constitution of Abkhazia man who is non- Abkhazian is defective and he is hit on the Rights..

Yes, my dear friends you are handicapped according to the laws of the Abkhaz..Оnly Abkhaz may be normal, other people can not!
This means that if the "defender" of the Abkhazians Jack - not Abkhazian- he is a second-rate man on the gangster laws of the Abkhaz.
My congratulations to Jack with a title that was given to you by Abkhazians which you protect and for the "great" job that you're doing to promote racism and apartheid.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
January 31, 2012 22:43
Abkhaz people might well be right if they think specimen like yourself are defective. Perhaps they know best since they were oppressed by "republic of Georgians" for so long. What you write is very typical for "republic of Georgians" fascist drivel. Which is why everyone wants to break free from rump "republic of Georgia" - despicable and backward dictatorship of your likes
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 03, 2012 04:26
It is a shame if being pro-Russian lier, "Jack from USA"
Is also employed by USA agencies, not unlike CIA,
Or "Rand", or FBI, or "Bechtel" - or even dwell
Not far away from me, killing me all too well
With NLW and Lemurs and payed money,
Because I saving the World from "Vanya".

Not unlike "bad Rushka" - "good slave",
Broken by Russia, Vakhtang give vawes
Of accepting labels - given to Georgians
By GRU for "Adygas-Gads" and Borgios.

"Gangs killed"? - Russia planed and did!
"Aboriginal"? - No, Forfathers of Civilization!
Aborigins from Australia, slave of crying deed!
"Racism"? - Self-prize of Russia's macaqazation!
"Constitution" of bestial macaques of Russians, slave?
For macaque macaque is "normal", not Ibero-Caucasians!

Vawing crying "slave" only encourage impudence of "Jack",
Which calling him "defective specimen" and calling "Gads"
Oppressed! What an impuidence of lying for Russia hack!
See coarse of Jacob on "Gad"-Adyga - murderous dworfs!

by: Ingush
January 30, 2012 21:38
It took Obama that long to figure out that Saakashvili was the good guy?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 03, 2012 04:38
Just politics, "Ingush". Usually Russians or naive pose
As non-Russians, devide and rule. I wouldn't claim
I represent a nation, if not invated to such post.
Big entities have more interests than friends.
Even if Saakashvili would be bad Georgian,
He would be better friend than best Ivanian.

by: Jack from: US
January 31, 2012 01:25
"free trade" agreement with rump "republic of Georgia" has only symbolic meaning. The 'republic of Georgia" does not have oil or gas and it does not produce anything of value for American consumers, being one of the least developed and most backward countries in the region. One thing "republic of Georgia" may try to export is wine, but "republic of Georgian" wines are frequently laced with methanol to artificially boost their alcohol content, which make them dangerous for human consumption.
In Response

by: J from: US
February 02, 2012 01:25
Wine? It gets here, you can buy it in E European stores. I am not impressed, they are overpriced. You can get a better Spanish wine for half the price
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 15, 2012 07:02
Georgian wine is so good, since ancient times Georgians had
not enough to advertise it.

It is the original cultured vines that God brought from Heaven,
or before Ice-ages selected for millions of years - their value is
in natural nutritions, minerals and vitamines.

Sure not all wines are the same.
The best is Kaheti and some other areas of Georgia.
Also it depends on year and other natural conditions.
Also there are different tastes, in ancient empires and developed in Europe after South Iberians brought vines from Southern pre-Georgia in 1,500 B.C. to Europe too, specially since Imperial times - new more tasty for Aristocrats wines, not necessarily with much good staff in it were emerging...

Also there are many Russian and Russian speaking
froads that might mixe different chip wines and add
additives, not without an alterior motive of hate of Russia
to neighbouring nations - to bust-up their products,
not only wine...

They were doing it even in former USSR - raiding moving trains
and destroing all food and industrial products moving between
non-Russian republics...
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
February 15, 2012 08:19
Hi, Konstantin, great to read your comments again, man :-)! You are saying: "Georgian wine is so good!" It is true, man, and yet I would argue that you personally should not drink so much of it - if you reduced the dose just a little big, your comments would be more comprehesible :-)))))))))).
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
February 15, 2012 17:56
My comments comprehencible enough for one that follow
Knowledege and trivialities trancated in particular comment,
Simple enough or taken by faith by knowledgable or agreeing.
For those that didn't agree (from my childhood) - as mocking,
It was always problem with Russians and Quislings outlets:
Every time, even the same day, same guys would hellow,
Making me say previous points, trying make me mellow.
It didn't work. I had to repeate it to beat another fellow.

I amn't young even Georgian wine is too good for me.
Any wine. Even in youth - I drank not by my own will.
Plagiarists, usurping rights Russians and their spree
Of Quislings dragged me in various situations, to bill.
Bill is empty, I can't be under influence - only heart ill.

by: Georgian from: WI, USA
January 31, 2012 01:33
Hey man, what do you saying, both territory belongs Georgia and they will be back ever, mainly when the Russia will break, and it'll happen soon... Never say that Abkhazia and south Ossetia is not Georgia, just see the history and then discuss... never give up Georgia these coupe of territory, don't forget this!!!

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