U.S Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2020
you know from the announcement, Secretary Pompeo will travel to Paris, Istanbul, and Tbilisi, Georgia over the next several days. The first stop, arriving tomorrow in Paris, Secretary is going to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in France. Obviously, as you know, this is a critical time in terms of reinforcing our solidarity with our oldest ally and affirm our strong condemnation of the attacks against innocent French citizens in Nice as well as the horrific murder of French teacher Samuel Paty. While in Paris, the Secretary will have a chance to meet with President Macron and Foreign Minister Le Drian to discuss transatlantic unity and facing global threats, including terrorism, promoting stability and security.
From Istanbul we’ll travel to Georgia to meet with senior government officials, including the president, Salome Zourabichvili; Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia; and Minister of Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani. He’ll also have a chance to meet His Holiness the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilia. And in – that’ll keep in the theme of religious freedom at that brief stop as well.
In Georgia, of course, we’re committed to helping Georgia deepen its Euro-Atlantic ties and strengthen its democratic institutions and processes. In fact, the second round of Georgian parliamentary elections for some 16 seats, I believe, that will have runoffs is going to be held November 21st. And of course, as we’ve said, free and fair electoral processes are critical for democracy in Georgia and the people of Georgia are actively participating in that process.
We’ll of course use this as an opportunity to reaffirm our support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. And once again, I would unequivocally note that we condemn Russia’s invasion in 2008 of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which still remain occupied by Russia.
Finally, the Secretary will be meeting with representatives of Georgia’s vibrant civil society to hear their views on rule of law, on judicial independence, and an independent judiciary as part of the integral process, free adjudication of processes in the Georgian democracy, and respect for human and economic rights.
That’s a quick wrap-up of our very quick visits and stops in France, Turkey, and Georgia.