The FINANCIAL — On September 15 the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a letter to Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaniani. He thanked Zalkaniani for his official invitation to observe Georgia’s upcoming parliamentary elections on October 31. Secretary of State also said he shares Zalkaniani’s focus on ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and transparent, in line with international standards and best practices.
Pompeo’s missive comes in response to FM Zalkaliani’s invitation letter to send a U.S. observation mission to Georgia’s October 31 parliamentary elections. Pompeo expressed his support towards OSCE/ODIHR’s recommendation to deploy a full-size observation mission of 28 long-term and 350 short-term observers. Secretary of State also noted that U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi will coordinate with the Georgian CEC to arrange observation by the Embassy’s teams, civil.ge reported.
“A level playing field; rigorous implementation of electoral reforms; and respect for human rights and the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and assembly are vital – both on election day and in the pre- and post-election periods,” top U.S. diplomat said. “I share your focus on ensuring that the elections are free, fair, and transparent, in line with international standards and best practices”, he added.
Secretary Pompeo said in his letter that he appreciates everything that the government of Georgia has done to encourage and facilitate the safe arrival of international observers. Mike Pompeo also wrote that the US ‘appreciates’ the country’s efforts to support international observers and remains ‘committed’ to helping Georgia implement reforms that ‘consolidate’ its democratic institutions and strengthen its democratic processes, according to agenda.ge
Pompeo pointed out that the US State Department of State will select volunteers to observe the parliamentary elections in Georgia, who will join the mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Pompeo also noted that the State Department of State is working with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to find an alternative solution that will allow them to observe the upcoming October 31 elections, Georgian Public Broadcasting wrote.
It is also noteworthy that On 15 September 2020, the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, held a meeting with the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, representing the UN and the OSCE, during their visit to Georgia. The Foreign Minister expressed concern over the increasing provocations by Russia, which threaten peace and stability throughout the region and restrict the fundamental rights of the local population. Head of the State Security Service of Georgia, Grigol Liluashvili has also held a meeting with the co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions — Toivo Klaar, Cihan Sultanoglu, and Rudolf Michalka. The parties reviewed the situation in the occupied territories and along the occupation line and discussed security challenges.
Recently, The U.S Department of State published a report. It said that Georgia is a small but open market that derives benefits from international trade, tourism, and transportation. While it is susceptible to global and regional shocks, the country has made sweeping economic reforms since 1991 that have produced a relatively well-functioning and stable market economy. It ranks seventh in the 2020 World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index and twelfth in the Heritage Foundation’s 2020 Economic Freedom Index. Fiscal and monetary policy are focused on low deficits, low inflation, and a floating real exchange rate, although the latter has been affected by regional developments, including sanctions on Russia, and other external factors, such as a stronger dollar. Read more.