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Reports: Georgia, U.S. to sign strategic partnership treaty
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11:35, December 27, 2008

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Georgia and the United States will sign a strategic partnership treaty in Washington on Jan. 4, the Caucasus Press news agency reported Friday.

A Georgian delegation led by Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze will pay a visit to the United States on Jan. 4, when the treaty is expected to be signed, the agency quoted Vashadze as saying.

Also on Friday, Georgian Ambassador to the United States Batu Kutelia confirmed in Tbilisi that Georgia and the United States will sign a framework treaty, which will lift their strategic bilateral partnership to a new stage. However, he did not comment on its contents.

Meanwhile, Georgian Security Council Secretary Eka Tkeshelashvili told reporters the treaty is an important step toward the development of Georgia's security and democracy.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in August following the latter's military offensive in a bid to reclaim its breakaway region of South Ossetia. Moscow subsequently recognized South Ossetia and the other Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia as independent states, leading Tbilisi to sever diplomatic ties with Russia.

The United States, together with some other Western powers, has criticized Russia for its counter-attack against Georgia and recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and sided with Tbilisi, which aspires for NATO membership.


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