"America First Does Not Mean America Alone" — Pence in Georgia

Jerome Frank
August 2, 2017

Pence said Trump will sign legislation to "strengthen and codify" US sanctions against Russian Federation.

While in Georgia, Mr. Pence inspected troops taking part in a joint United States-Georgian military exercise, which Mr. Pence called "a visible sign of our commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and to her internationally recognized borders".

The United States supports Georgia's ambition to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and is thankful for its servicemen's participation in the alliance's missions, Pence said at a joint press conference with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Noble Partner 2017 is the third iteration of exercise in Georgia and is a bilateral effort focused on enhancing U.S. and Georgian NATO Response Force interoperability in the context of military-to-military relationships.

"We Georgians cherish friendship between our two nations, and the enduring values that bind us together", the Prime Minister also said and added that the United States has been "Georgia's premier strategic ally" in the period since it regained independence.

Pence is the highest-ranking American official of the current administration to visit Georgia and the larger Caucasus region.

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About 800 Georgian and 1600 US troops are taking part in the Noble Partner 2017 drills - the largest ever in the Caucasus nation since it fought a brief war with Russian Federation in 2008.

"We reported on the situation in the country, on internal problems of democratic development", the leader of the Movement for Liberty - European Georgia party Davit Bakradze said, referring to the constitutional reform and freedom of speech in Georgia.

Pence's visits to Estonia, Georgia and Montenegro are taking place amid spiraling tensions with Russian Federation after President Vladimir Putin said the US must slash staff at its diplomatic mission by 755, or almost two-thirds, in retaliation for new sanctions approved by Congress.

Earlier, he met the presidents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for talks on security and regional issues.

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said on July 27 that Pence's visit will demonstrate that the United States continues to support Georgia in building a stronger military force.

The United States has sent some of its M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles across the Black Sea for the drills, which will last until August 12. He will meet with USA troops on August 1.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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