In an exclusive interview with CBS News, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili highlighted the significant role Washington could play in advancing her country’s journey toward the European Union. She stressed the importance of the United States formally endorsing Georgia’s aspiration.
The Quest for Western Support
During the interview, Zurabishvili was asked about her perspective on Western support, with a specific focus on the United States and its commitment to Georgia.
“I don’t think so… I’ve served as the president for five years, and during this time, I have been unable to secure high-level meetings or even a simple telephone conversation with the U.S. president. I realize there are more pressing concerns, but I believe that public recognition is crucial,” Zurabishvili expressed.
She emphasized the necessity of Washington’s official acknowledgment of its support for granting Tbilisi the status of an EU candidate. “I am aware that this is the rhetoric the United States employs with our European allies. Nevertheless, reiterating this at a prominent level holds immense significance for the people of Georgia,” the president added.
The Strategic Imperative of U.S. Backing
Why Georgia Needs Strong U.S. Support for EU Candidacy
- Enhancing Global Standing: Georgia’s quest for EU candidacy is not just a domestic issue but a matter of international importance. With U.S. backing, Georgia’s position on the global stage would be significantly reinforced.
- Strengthening Democracy: By demonstrating support for Georgia’s EU aspirations, the United States underscores its commitment to democratic values and principles. This not only aids Georgia but sets a positive example for the broader region.
- Economic Advancement: EU candidacy opens doors to economic growth, investment, and trade. U.S. support can expedite Georgia’s economic development and enhance opportunities for American businesses.
- Stability in the Caucasus: A stable and prosperous Georgia is in the best interest of the United States and the region. By endorsing Georgia’s EU candidacy, the U.S. contributes to peace and stability in the Caucasus.
- Enhanced Bilateral Relations: Formally supporting Georgia’s EU aspirations can mend the perceived gap in bilateral relations. It demonstrates the U.S.’s willingness to be a true ally.
The Public’s Perspective
Why Public Recognition Matters
- Inspiring Hope: Public recognition from the United States provides hope to the people of Georgia. It shows that their aspirations are shared and supported on the global stage.
- Building Trust: Trust in political leadership grows when international commitments are made. Washington’s endorsement can help rebuild trust within Georgia.
- Fostering Unity: The recognition of Georgia’s EU candidacy aligns the nation’s citizens toward a common goal. It fosters unity and shared purpose.
- Motivating Reform: International support can be a catalyst for reforms and improvements within Georgia. The prospect of EU candidacy motivates the nation to enact necessary changes.
Salome Zurabishvili’s plea for U.S. support in Georgia’s journey to EU candidacy is not just a matter of diplomatic formality but a strategic imperative. The United States has a unique role to play in strengthening Georgia’s global standing, promoting democracy, boosting economic growth, ensuring regional stability, and enhancing bilateral relations.
Furthermore, public recognition from the U.S. provides hope, builds trust, fosters unity, and motivates reform within Georgia. It is a symbiotic relationship, where both Georgia and the United States stand to gain from a strong partnership on this crucial journey.