WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on yesterday’s agreement between the Georgian government and opposition party leaders to end a political deadlock following last October’s national election:
“Monday’s political agreement between the Georgian government and opposition party leaders is a significant step toward resolving the political crisis that has gripped the country for months. I am glad to see the agreement includes electoral and judicial reforms, a resolution on the two jailed opposition figures, and an assurance the opposition will join the parliament. Both sides have shown leadership and courage in their efforts to compromise for the benefit of their country and all Georgians, and this agreement can put Georgia back on its Euro-Atlantic trajectory.
“I am grateful for the European Union’s leadership in this negotiation process and for the tireless work of the U.S. embassy team headed by Ambassador Degnan.
“Finding a compromise was the first step, but the true test of the agreement’s durability will be in its implementation. Both Georgian Dream and the opposition have a responsibility to uphold this agreement in both letter and spirit, and to rebuild political trust. As I have said many times before, Georgia must turn the corner away from political prosecutions and toward building a strong and prosperous Georgia. This moves the country in that direction, but the United States, including Georgia’s friends in the U.S. Congress, will be paying close attention.”