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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 7, 1994
                   AND THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA

At their meeting at the White House, President of the United States Bill Clinton and Georgian Parliament Chairman Eduard Shevardnadze agreed on the need to accelerate the building of close and mutually beneficial relations on all levels between the United States of America and the Republic of Georgia.

The United States was the first country in which a Georgian Embassy was established after independence. This official visit by Chairman Shevardnadze marks an important further step demonstrating the significance which the United States and the Republic of Georgia attach to broadening and deepening their relationship.

The United States recognizes that the Republic of Georgia faces new challenges in ensuring its national security and is ready to work closely with Georgia to assist it in finding ways to meet these challenges. The United States and the Republic of Georgia further expressed their desire to facilitate contact between appropriate government officials with a view to broadening defense cooperation and expanding their dialogue on security issues of mutual interest.

The United States reaffirmed its full support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and pledged its continued backing for United Nations efforts to facilitate a peaceful settlement to the conflict in the Abkhaz region of Georgia.

International security can no longer be achieved through the efforts of individual states by acquiring ever increasing amounts of weaponry. Rather, security must be based on reduced levels of armaments among all nations, and on a multilateral commitment to uphold shared values, especially democracy, the inviolability of borders, territorial integrity, and peaceful resolution of disputes. The United States and the Republic of Georgia agreed that working together in multilateral institutions like CSCE and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council is an important means of promoting these goals and values.

The United States welcomes the announcement that the Republic of Georgia has decided to move forward on participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace. The Partnership provides a framework for enhanced political and operational military cooperation, including joint planning, training and exercises for multilateral crisis management activities.

The Republic of Georgia and the United States reaffirm their commitment to comply fully with the obligations of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. The United States stands ready to provide technical assistance, advice, and expertise to assist the Republic of Georgia as it continues to meet these obligations. President Clinton and Chairman Shevardnadze agreed that the two governments should continue to work together -- and with other concerned governments -- to explore ways to minimize the cost of meeting these commitments.

President Clinton and Chairman Shevardnadze agreed that the independence of the Republic of Georgia and its commitment to democracy and market economic reform could make an important contribution to stability in a region of Europe that has known great tragedy and upheaval. The United States and the Republic of Georgia underscored their intention to cooperate actively to achieve this goal. The President and the Chairman agreed to protect and promote the values that bind together the democratic community of nations, including free and fair elections, freedom of emigration, the rule of law, respect for human rights, including free speech, free press, and respect for the rights of individuals belonging to minorities. The United States strongly supported the commitment of the Republic of Georgia to develop in full accordance with these principles and its efforts to build a just and stable society where the fundamental freedoms of all peoples are guaranteed.

The United States and the Republic of Georgia expressed their determination to advance the values of economic freedom, without which democracy cannot succeed and prosperity cannot be attained. The Republic of Georgia reaffirmed its determination to build a market economy through appropriate macroeconomic stabilization policies and structural reforms to promote market development, economic recovery and growth, and to create conditions attractive to foreign investment, which will contribute to the restructuring of the Georgian economy. The United States will assist the Republic of Georgia to promote economic reform, free trade and foreign investment. Both sides recognize the importance of improved market access for their firms, and the need to ensure economic progress and to deepen economic cooperation.

President Clinton and Chairman Shevardnadze agreed to work together to remove all unnecessary barriers to bilateral trade and investment. The President and Chairman signed the U.S.- Georgian Bilateral Investment Treaty today. They also agreed on the advisability of completing preparations on a treaty to avoid double taxation.

The United States reaffirmed its intention to continue providing assistance to the Republic of Georgia in the areas of agriculture, food, medicine, fiscal and monetary policy, and other areas to promote reform in Georgia. The United States expressed its commitment to continue its assistance to the Republic of Georgia in meeting the needs of the persons displaced from the Abkhazia region of Georgia.

The United States and the Republic of Georgia are also ready to expand their relations in such areas as science, energy, culture, arts, education, law, sports, tourism, youth exchanges, and new information technology.

By agreeing to cooperate to advance common political, economic, and security interests, the United States and the Republic of Georgia have laid the foundation for a strong and diversified relationship.

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