A Resolution Expressing the Sense of the Senate on the continuing relationship between the United States and Georgia

Bill Number: 
S.Res.317
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Country(s): 
Georgia
Relevant Text: 

Expressing the sense of the Senate on the continuing relationship
between the United States and Georgia.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 11, 2013

Mr. Sessions (for himself and Mrs. Shaheen) submitted the following
resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate on the continuing relationship
between the United States and Georgia.

Whereas Georgia is a highly valued partner of the United States and has
repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests
of both countries, including through the deployment of Georgian forces
as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
in Afghanistan, where Georgia is currently the largest non-NATO
contributor and serving without caveats in Helmand Province, and the
Multi-National Force in Iraq;
Whereas, contrary to international law and the 2008 ceasefire agreement between
Russia and Georgia, Russian forces have constructed barriers, including
barbed wire and fences, along the administrative boundary line for the
South Ossetia region of Georgia;
Whereas this ``borderization'' is inconsistent with Russia's international
commitments under the August 2008 ceasefire agreement, is contrary to
Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, creates hardship and
significant negative impacts for populations on both sides of these
barriers, and is detrimental to long-term conflict resolution;
Whereas the peaceful transfer of power as the result of the October 2012
parliamentary elections in Georgia represents a major accomplishment
toward the creation by the people of Georgia of a free society and full
democracy;
Whereas the Presidential election of October 2013 marks another step in this
transition to a free and open democracy in Georgia;
Whereas international election observers from the Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) concluded that the election ``was
efficiently administered, transparent, and took place in an amicable and
constructive environment [. . .]. Fundamental freedoms of expression,
movement and assembly were respected, and candidates were able to
campaign without restriction. [. . .] A wide range of views and
information was made available to voters through the media, providing
candidates with a platform to present their programmes and opinions
freely'';
Whereas such election conduct is consistent with actions that demonstrate
progress toward a mature and free democracy; and
Whereas, on November 29, 2013, Georgia initialed an Association Agreement with
the European Union (EU), making Georgia a member of the Deep and
Comprehensive Free Trade Area, removing significant trade restrictions
with the European Union, and signifying an important preliminary step
towards the signing and eventual implementation of the Association
Agreement by all European Union members states and Georgia: Now,
therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) declares that the United States supports the
sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Georgia
and the inviolability of its internationally recognized
borders, and expresses concerns over the continued occupation
of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the
Russian Federation;
(2) encourages the President to enhance defense cooperation
efforts with Georgia;
(3) supports the efforts of the Government of Georgia to
protect its government, people, sovereignty, and territorial
integrity within its internationally recognized borders;
(4) reaffirms its support for Georgia's NATO membership
aspirations, congratulates the Government of Georgia on the
steps it has taken to further its integration with NATO, and
commends the determination of the Government of Georgia to
maintain its troop contribution to International Security
Assistance Force and its willingness to extend its mission in
Afghanistan beyond 2014;
(5) congratulates the Government and people of Georgia on
the Presidential election of October 27, 2013, commends the
Government and people of Georgia on a peaceful and democratic
transfer of power, and encourages all parties to work together
constructively to maintain continued movement toward a free and
democratic society;
(6) strongly encourages the Government of Georgia to defend
the rule of law, improve the independence of the judiciary, and
protect the rights of political opposition--all essential
components of a free and open democracy and which can and
should be demonstrated in the upcoming 2014 local elections;
(7) strongly supports a United States and international
election monitoring mission for this final phase of Georgia's
election cycle;
(8) further encourages the Government of Georgia to refrain
from politically motivated arrests and prosecutions;
(9) affirms that the path to lasting stability in this
region is through peaceful means and long-term diplomatic and
political dialogue; and
(10) remains committed to assisting the people of Georgia
in their efforts to establish an enduring democratic society
with strong institutions within the rule of law.