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Charter instead of framework agreement2009-01-07 12:56
Before the end of the week Georgia and the USA will sign the Charter on strategic partnership in Washington.
According to "Novosti-Gruzia" the document will have only two signatures - Grigol Vashadze's, the head of Georgia's foreign office, and Condoleezza Rice's, the US Secretary of State. For now it is known (as preliminary information only) that the Charter shall provide for strategic cooperation between two countries, i.e. extension of partnership and interaction in defense, security, economy, energy, democratic reforms, diplomacy and culture.
It is of interest that until very recently the related news contained another notion - a framework agreement and not a Charter. Now this substitution remains unclear considering that the list above starting with "provide for" is just the same as for the framework agreement.
On January 8 First Deputy of Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria, Defense Minister David Sikharulidze and State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili are going to Washington. And Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze and Georgia's new ambassador to the USA Batu Kutelia are already in the American capital.
It will be remembered that the execution of the document was planned for January 4 but was postponed due to aggravation of the situation in the Middle East and Condoleezza Rice's urgent departure to the region.
Georgia's authorities consider the signing of the Charter as a historic event. As early as on December 25 Temur Yakobashvili pointed out according to day.az information agency:
"The USA is the leading state in the world and strategic partnership with such a powerful state for a small country is the most important achievement of its authorities".
President Mikheil Saakashvili is optimistic too judging by his New Year's address to the nation:
"The document on Georgian-American strategic partnership will virtually become withdrawal from the Georgian tractate (the treaty on patronage and supreme power of the Russian Empire with the united Georgian tsardom Kartli-Kakheti - AG) and farewell to "the-elder-and-the -younger-brother epoch". Certainly this Charter will not guarantee us absolute safety but in the distant future it will transform Georgia into the state of an entirely different level".
The document's new status that is now named a Charter is similar to the one signed by the U.S. and Ukraine on December 19.