A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GEORGIA- U.S. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP COMMISSION
The Charter enshrines a U.S. “vital interest in a strong, independent, sovereign, unified, and democratic Georgia, capable of responsible self-defense, that contributes to the security and prosperity not only of all Georgians, but of a Europe whole, free and at peace.”. The overall practical goal is to “enable Georgia to provide for its legitimate security and defense needs, including development of appropriate, NATO-interoperable military forces.” The Charter casts this bilateral agenda as part of the wider, common objective to guide Georgia toward NATO membership by “meet[ing] the necessary standards.”
“Our friendship derives from mutual understanding and appreciation for our shared belief that democracy is the chief basis for political legitimacy and, therefore, stability,” says one of the Charter’s “Principles of Partnership.”
The first meeting of the Strategic Partnership Commission, held on June 22, 2009, launched four bilateral working groups on priority areas identified in the Charter: democracy, defense and security, economic, trade and energy issues, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Senior-level Georgian and American policy-makers lead yearly meetings of each working group to review commitments, update activities, and establish future objectives. Annual plenary sessions of the commission are co-chaired by Prime-Minister of Georgia and the United States Secretary of State.