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Secretary of State: Georgia - valued partner of U.S.

Secretary of State: Georgia - valued partner of U.S.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Georgia as a "valued partner" at a joint briefing after a meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. The meeting was held at the U.S. Department of State last evening.

As Clinton said, the U.S. interest in Georgia is growing and it is a good evidence of partner relations. "Georgia is actively participating in Afghanistan, where Georgian soldiers are showing great courage and professionalism. We are pursuing a system of consultations to determine the way forward on further trade and investment. There's a lot of work going on in our bilateral consultations on education, on health, on good governance, on rule of law," she said.

Hillary Clinton said during his visit to the U.S. President Saakashvili held many efficient meetings and will continue them, as there is a great deal of interest in Georgia in the U.S.

President Saakashvili expressed gratitude for strong support, not just in words but in action, for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. "Sometimes it's like uphill struggle because it's against the forces that are trying to undermine us," he said.

"I walked out also from this office, but also from the Oval Office where we were also present, totally elated because I heard everything I wanted to hear," Mr Saakashvili said.

"But this time, because the country has also matured - my country has also matured up to the challenges. I think we now are moving to another level in cooperation. And with free trade agreement, nobody could have imagined that Georgia would ever start to qualify for that a few years ago," he said.

Georgian president welcomes Hillary Clinton's upcoming visit to Georgia and said he is looking forward to seeing her in Batumi in February.

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