United States Vice-President Joe Biden was in Tbilisi, Georgia on Thursday to deliver a speech to the country’s Parliament
. Mr. Biden’s speech covered issues of protecting democracy, NATO and U.S. relations with Russia will not affect Georgia whatsoever.
“We understand that Georgia aspires to join NATO. We fully support that aspiration, and members of parliament, we will work to continue to help you meet the standards of NATO membership.”
Mr. Biden further iterated that he would not recognize a South Ossetia and pro-Russian separatist region, “We call upon Russia to honor its international commitments, clearly specified in the [August] 12th cease-fire agreement, including withdrawal of all forces to their pre-conflict positions and ultimately out of your territorial area.”
Legislators interrupted Mr. Biden’s speech with a roaring applause when he said, “we will stand with you,” which was related to Georgia’s restructuring of the country through security and freedom.
According to the Georgian government, the former United States 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidate held private talks with Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili. In the meeting, the President asked Mr. Biden for more training for Georgia’s military.
The President said, “We are also a country under attack, under partial occupation, and we face constant challenges toward our democracy and our security. But despite all of that, our choice is irreversible. We decided to join the free world, Europe, the North Atlantic alliance.”
Pres. Saakashvili further added, in a friendly demeanor, “You know, we've known each other for many years, and I can remember each single meeting we had. I can quote any of these phrases, not only because you are so eloquent, but because you are so important to us and for me personally.”
After Joe Biden’s visit, Russia’s Kremlin reported that the South Ossetia conflict was due in part of Georgia’s eagerness to join NATO. Moscow also said that it would take serious measures to prevent Georgia from reinvigorating their military.
In a Newsweek
article from September 2008, it states, “Since July 2005 the United States has trained an additional three Georgian brigades for Baghdad and equipped them with U.S. gear: armored Humvees, devices to detect roadside IEDs, radios and other basics. By Pentagon standards, it was a bare-bones effort: a training mission of about 130 troops, at a cost since 2002 of no more than $200 million.”