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Powell: Today the World Is Focusing on Georgia

Powell:  Today the World Is Focusing on Georgia 

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Tbilisi, Georgia January 24th and 25th to attend the inauguration of President Mikheil Saakashvili. While here, the Secretary took part in a question and answer session with civic leaders of Georgia, held a brief press conference with President Saakashvili, met with foreign leaders, attended a town-hall style meeting with the new president, and was interviewed by both CNN and Rustavi 2. As is tradition, the Secretary also took time out to meet with U.S. Mission staff and their families.

Secretary Powell shakes hands with Eduard Saakashvili, as his parents President Saakashvili and Sandra Roelofs look on.

 Photo US Embassy, Tbilisi

Remarks by Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles at an Event for Georgian Civil Society in Tbilisi. Sunday, January 25, 2004. Source: Georgian Embassy in Washington D.C.

Ambassador Miles: Well, Mr. Secretary, I am really excited about this event and I actually feel like I should introduce the crowd to you, rather than you to the crowd, because they know you. And I can assure you that you have the heart of Georgia and mind of Georgia here in this room. This is an incredible assemblage of people from all over Georgia, and representing all walks of life and we know many of them personally. And those we don’t know yet, we would like to know you personally and they are good people. And I know it is going to be a very good session. But let me introduce the Secretary to you. We are very proud and honored to have Secretary Powell here on this historic day for Georgia. I think everyone knows of his distinguished military career, and of course, his distinguished civilian career. There are not very many people in the history of the United States, or indeed in the world, who have combined these careers and risen to these levels of prominence.

The Secretary was a professional soldier for 35 years and, as he told us earlier this morning, he remains a soldier. And I think we can all appreciate that. In the notes they gave me, Mr. Secretary, they say that during your time you saw you oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the victorious 1991 Persian Gulf War. But my guess is that instead of 28 crises it probably felt like 280 crises. I would like to remind you that after retiring from military service and before becoming Secretary of State, Secretary Powell served as the Chairman of an organization called America’s Promise: The Alliance For Youth, which is an national non–profit organization, in some ways like some of the organizations that are represented here today, which is dedicated to mobilizing all Americans to build the character and the confidence of young people. And that was a very worthwhile effort and still going on, of course.

All of us in the Foreign Service especially appreciate Secretary Powell because he has a a real feeling for the people in the Foreign Service, the human quality, the resources that enable us to do our job. And he has done so much for us in that regard, that we have a special respect and affection for him. So I think that you are going to find him an excellent interlocutor today in this session. I just wish we had more time for it, but in order to allow more time for I am going to turn the floor over to Secretary Powell.

Secretary Powell: Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. And let me thank you for the leadership that you have been providing to the U.S. mission here in Tbilisi. It is a great pleasure for me to have the opportunity to meet with you today. The inauguration of a freely elected President is a tremendously important event in the life of any democracy, but in the long run it is not Presidents or Ministers who will shape a society, who will get things done. In the long run, it’s a nation’s civil society: those of you in this room and the many others that you represent who will shape the future of this country. As the Ambassador mentioned, after I left the military but before coming back into government service as Secretary of State, I became part of civil society and I ran a nongovernmental organization to deal with the problems that young Americans face. Problems are not just in developing countries or countries that have recently entered the ranks of democratic nations. Problems of the kind that I dealt with, of course, can exist in a country as wealthy and powerful as my own. And so, with all of our wealth and power, we have people, youngsters in need and it is important for civil society in America to mobilize to deal with those kinds of needs. And it is therefore doubly and triply important for civil society in Georgia to come together in an organized way, as you are doing here today, to help your new President and your new leadership deal with the challenges faced by your citizens, and especially your young people.

Over the past few months the hard work that you and many of your fellow citizens have been doing really began to produce real results. Today the world is focusing on Georgia, the whole world is watching this inauguration today, the world sees Georgia that is on its way to freedom and renewed prosperity. You have worked against overwhelming odds to make your communities and your nation a better place to live in. Whether it is leading a peaceful Rose Revolution, cleaning up a city park, organizing clothing drives for orphans and street children or training the spotlight on corruption, you have taken responsibility for your country. You know that Georgia’s future is in your hands and you are shaping it for the better. You, who acted in defense of your constitution, know that democracy cannot be taken for granted, nor can democracy be given by others as a gift. Democracy must be vigilantly protected by people like you. And perfected by your constant effort, your constant dedication to your fellow citizens, your constant belief in your system, your constant commitment to your democracy and to your constitution.

We in the United States have been working to perfect our democracy for over two hundred years, and I am told that Georgia is the legendary land of the Golden Fleece, the object of Jason’s heroic quest. Democracy is an even more precious prize. Just as Jason could not have won the fleece without the help of the Argonauts, Georgia cannot attain its democratic goals without you. Each and every one of you. You truly are your country’s greatest hope. I salute you for your dedications to public service and for your selfless devotion to democracy.

I also know that many of you here are alumni of exchange programs with the United States. These wonderful programs deepen the ties between our two countries and in the months and years ahead I hope to expand these programs to attract even more Georgians into them, so that you can come to our country and learn, and that we can come here and learn alongside of you. Such people-to- people contacts form the heart of an enduring partnership and will benefit both of our countries long, long into the future.

Before I turn this over to questions, I just want to say that on behalf of President Bush and on behalf of the American people, we strongly support your efforts to build democracy in Georgia. By your grassroots activism, you are ensuring that democracy’s roots spread deep and wide throughout your country. You are nurturing democracy’s growth and you are the ones who can do the most to ensure that the rose of Georgia’s peaceful revolution does not fade. So, let me just say how proud I am to be here with you, not only to have these moments with you, but, a little bit later this afternoon, to represent president Bush and the American people at the inauguration of your new President. And to let you know that the United States of America, working with nations throughout the world, will be supporting you in the challenging days and months ahead. I wish you all the best. I wish all Georgians, those here and all throughout your great country, all the best as you begin this new era in your history and in your life as a nation and as a people. Thank you.

Ambassador Miles: I expect that it has been explained that if you have a question, if you would proceed up to the microphone. We have several microphones up here at the front and just ask your question. The Secretary will try to answer and he will actually ask the next person for their question. So, please…

Question: (In Georgian) Hi. I welcome you, Mr. Secretary. I wanted to draw your attention to the social environment situation which existing in the country. We appreciate the support delivered by the American nation and you. But I want to ask you and tell you maybe there will be a targeted assistance for disabled people and the veterans of war, especially the veterans of war? That’s my question to your, sir.

Secretary Powell: I am pleased that we have been able to provide a considerable amount of support to Georgia during this time of challenge. Immediately after President Shevardnadze stepped down and getting ready for your election, we provided assistance to help with that election and to help with pensions and other salary items that were essential for the government to continue operation. Over the period of this fiscal year, the United States will provide assistance to Georgia in the amount of some $166 million dollars, a very significant amount and much more than we have provided in the past. And over the past ten years, as you know, we have provided close to one billion dollars in support to Georgia. The specifics of how the aid will flow, I will have to leave to the Ambassador and to union leaders to see how they wish to use that aid, and to which category they wish to apply that aid. As they do that and as they make their decisions, which are decisions really for the new Georgian leadership to make, I hope that they will be sensitive to the needs of the disabled, to the needs of the pensioners, to the needs of those who are injured and continue to suffer from their injuries as a result of conflict and war. And I will take your particular point and discuss it with the Georgian leaders that I will be meeting with today, in order to make sure that they are sensitive to the needs of the injured and disabled.

Question: (In Georgian) Is the U.S. government going to make the control over the aid to the Georgian government stricter and create their own criteria or it will be more dependant on the development of liberal institutions in the country?

Secretary Powell: I have a responsibility to the American people and to their representatives in the Congress to make sure that all aid that we provide to our friends around the world is spent in the most efficient way, and is spent in a transparent way, so that we can see where the aid is going. We believe that we should not just say, “This is what you will do.” But rather, in a collaborative effort between our Ambassador and Georgian leaders, we determine where best the aid can be used and how best to use it and to make sure it goes in a way that is transparent and accountable, for the simple reason that I want to be able to go back to Congress the following year and ask for more assistance. But I can only do that if Congress is convinced that the aid is being spent well.

So it is a collaborative process between the Embassy, between my office back in Washington and between Georgian officials as to where the aid will go. And we hope that as Georgian officials determine how they will use the aid, they will do it in consultation not just with government officials but with civil society; that they will ask NGO’s, that they will ask throughout the society, “what are the needs of society?” And from that kind of an assessment, make a judgment as to how much aid is needed, how best to use that aid, how they get the best return on the aid investment. And hopefully the aid will be used in a way that invests in the people and invests in the infrastructure of the country, so that you then can become better able to attract trade and assistance. What you really want is people to come and invest in Georgia, and trade in Georgia, not just to receive aid from the United States or the European Union. And so we hope that our aid will help you create conditions that will fix your infrastructure, assist your people in finding employment, rehabilitate your industries, reform your political system and your economy in such a way that people then will want to trade with Georgia. And that is the basis for solid economy, not just aid.

Question: (Inaudible) I welcome you, Mr. Secretary. In Georgia, human rights statutes is aggravated and does it have an impact on your attitude towards new leadership of Georgia? We will have this same attitude for the new leadership as the former one, or you will change your attitude?

Secretary Powell: We strongly believe that all individuals in every country that we’re friendly with should have access to high standards and principles of human rights, that all individuals should be free to pursue their destiny as God chooses to show them their destiny and lead them toward their destiny. And as part of our bilateral relationship with our many friends around the country we make human rights an essential part of the dialogue. I’m required by my Congress and the American people to present an annual report on the state of human rights throughout the world and the individual countries that we deal with. Also having to do with trafficking in persons and a variety of other standards, that we hope people view as universal standards and that they will meet. So my conversations with Georgian leaders, the new leaders, I will reinforce to them that the United States expects that they will meet these universal standards of human rights and make sure that these rights are protected in the constitution and in the operation of the government. These rights have to include making sure that all persons in this society, all genders, the two genders in this society, are treated equally and with respect in accordance with the constitution. And that will remain a principle feature of our bilateral relationship with Georgia.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible), the Georgian Socialist Party. America has played a great role in developing democracy in Georgia and we appreciate this however, you would agree Mr. Secretary that the maintenance of democracy, preservance of democracy, is the most important and it is impossible without political opposition? My question is: will America maintain its mediatory role between the leadership of the government and the opposition, in order to avoid the monopoly and the police politics and not to jeopardize the free elections and other democratic accoutrements?

Secretary Powell: We strongly believe in open, free and fair elections. I can say that we strongly believe that for democracy to thrive you have to have a clash of ideas, you have to have opposition parties, so that the people can choose from differing points of view. And you have to have a free and open media that allow different parties to express their views and not in any way be constrained. And that will remain the policy of the United States. We also encourage our Ambassadors and other Embassy personnel around the world to meet not just with the leaders of the government, but to meet with opposition leaders, and to learn what other points of view are within a country and to do what we can to encourage different points of view, not for the purpose of undercutting the leadership of a country, but for the purpose of making the simple case that democracy involves a clash of ideas and to have a clash of ideas of those who hold different ideas than the government must be free to express those ideas, take those ideas to the people, and let the people decide which ideas they cherish and what to follow. And the way you do that is with free, open elections, where everybody can compete in that election and see who wins.

Question: (In Georgian) I welcome (inaudible) I am the IDP from Abkhazia. My question is: in Abkhazia, currently the peace-keeping forces are…this role is implemented by military and the 300,000 people became refuges in their own country. I am interested, when does the new era start in the life of the IDPs? When we will be able to come back to our homes?

Secretary Powell: I wish I could give you a quick, prompt answer to that question; it’s a very difficult one. We are hopeful that Russia will meet its Istanbul commitments in due course and remove their troops. We know that there are several hundred thousand displaced persons who are anxious to get back to their home, and homes. We are working with Georgians and OSCE officials, and UN officials, to see if the process cannot be facilitated and speeded up. But, I can’t give you the kind of answer you would like that said we’ll solve this all in a matter of a week or two. I think it’s going to take a long time and it’s going to take the best efforts on the part of Georgia, other neighbors in the region, and the international communities that are, that are deeply involved in this tragic situation.

Question: Mr. Secretary of State. This is to the same question that ah, essentially, you voted to enable the United Nations and OSCE to play a more decisive role in letting us solve our conflict. It is necessary that the efforts of the international community are strengthened towards the solution of the Abkhazia conflict in the first time, first case. And my question is what is it that you are prepared for, for in that direction? Thank you.

Secretary Powell: Well, as you know, the United States made a powerful presentation to OSCE at the conference in Maastricht last month. And we will continue to impress upon the Russian Federation the need for them to meet their Istanbul commitments. We will continue to work with the OSCE and I hope to have a few words with Foreign Minister Passey, the Chairman in Office of the OSCE about this matter today. He is here. And we will continue to work with the European Union. And Foreign Minister Cowen, the current presidency of the European Union, of Ireland, and I had an opportunity to discuss this situation today. So we will continue to try to find solutions, to continue to impress upon the Russian Federation the need to meet their commitments. But this is a difficult situation that will take time to work out and, and resolve. But we will remain engaged with the relevant international communities, organizations: OSCE, United Nations and others.

Question: Mr. Secretary. Probably nowadays, as never before, Georgian society and its new political elite, is fully aware that in order to join Euro-Atlantic security community, certain conditions should be met. And if, in a couple of years, Georgia shows vivid progress in building democracy, based on the rule of law and the respect for the human rights, and if there is a progress, not final solution, but progress with regards to the ethnic conflicts we face in this country, can you then imagine Georgia entering NATO?

Secretary Powell: Sure. The door to NATO remains open. NATO has been expanded twice since my days as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, and now it will be added to formally in a few months time, to a grand alliance of twenty-six nations. And there are important standards that have to be met and there is a long process that one has to go through to meet those standards, but the door is open. And I hope that Georgia, as it goes forward, will internalize their standards, will work on it, will work with the NATO authorities, will work with the EU authorities, as well. And I’m pleased that there is, I sense such a commitment on the part of the Georgian people to be part of these Euro-Atlantic structures. I hope that everybody will recognize that we are not asking Georgia to make any choice between the United States or Europe or the Russian Federation. That, that I think is old thinking left over from the days Iron Curtain. The Iron Curtain is gone. There is no reason that Georgia should not have excellent relations with all of its neighbors, excellent relations with the United States, and that all of us, rather than competing with one another, all of us should work together to help the Georgian people achieve their dreams and hopefully reach that point where they can pursue NATO membership and membership within the European Union.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible) from the General Prosecutor’s Office, Human Rights Department. I would like to thank you once again for the whole nation, the United States, and the Ambassador in Georgia, for their assistance to be general prosecutors of this and especially for the department of Human Rights newly established departments. This assistance was technical and material. I was in the United States during the whole November; I spent the whole November in the United States and in your beautiful country. And my question…and I was asked where would I like, who would I like to meet and I expressed my wish to meet with you. I had no chance to meet with you in the United States, but today my wish came true so may I shake hands with you? This is my question?

(Applause and Laughter. Secretary Powell motions the woman up to the stage to greet him).


Secretary Powell: Any one else want to do that?


Question: I think that all women like to hand your hand.

(Applause and Laughter.)

Secretary Powell: Why didn’t this happen forty years ago? Why now? (Laughter)

Question: Thank you for meeting with us. I am (Inaudible), President of U.S. Councils Program Alumni Association in Georgia. And you mentioned that…

Secretary Powell: How many of you have been in the U.S. programs? Bravo. Oh. I think we got a selective…

Question: This is a small part of our alumni. So, you mentioned about the success of the exchange program. It’s really because that you know that Mr. Saakashvili, our new president also is one of the participants of our, of your exchange program. And ah, I am interesting what maybe change in the direction of the exchange program. Because now Georgia is really in the way of democracy, but, you know and everybody knows that it means, democracy means to develop, yes? And means to help in developing democracy? What will be changing? Content? Or the direction of your exchange program in Georgia? Thank you.

Secretary Powell: I thank you very much, and I am so happy to see so many of you here who have participated in our exchange programs. We are so proud of these programs. There are so many different programs. Whether it’s Fulbright Scholarships, Muskie Program, which President Saakashvili participated in, or all the various programs that are represented here. I also, as a military officer, during my military career, we had similar military exchange programs which were very beneficial. As we go into the future, I am going to go back to my Congress and ask for more money for these kinds of programs, because they are so valuable and they have such a high payoff. Exactly what different kind of programs are needed, and how to steer the programs in the right direction, I think that is something that I’ll ask the Ambassador to study as we go forward. Because now that you have a new government and new interest and you’re looking in new directions, there may be appropriate to shift the emphasis in the program one way or the other. But, I can assure you that these programs will continue to enjoy our full support. Thank you.

Question: Mr. Powell, my name is (Inaudible) and I am an alumni myself and I would really like to thank you for this great opportunity. Also, I’m representing (inaudible) and I have a question regarding the youth. How do you see the youth role in the President’s daily community life? Thank you.

Secretary Powell: The program I worked on in America before coming back into government was called America’s Promise. And one of the key elements of the program was that young people should serve society. We did many things: we provided mentors to young people, we tried to teach them how to use computers and gain other skills, we wanted to make sure they had healthcare. But an important feature of the program was that youth should serve society. So, some of the things I touched on: youth participating in neighborhood groups, youth coming together to help clean up neighborhoods. There are a lot of things in the country that are in need of people coming together to work on, and to fix, or to repair something, or to paint something, or to take care of older people who are in need, and need some folks to come in and to provide a meal for them, or to sit with them or to visit with them. So, I think that it is absolutely essential that young people in Georgia organize themselves in different kinds of organizations, just as we have in the United States where you come together, you select leaders and then you form a critical mass of young people, and then you find things to do in the society. And not just lay around watching television, even if it’s American television, but to get out and do something meaningful in the society.

Get you education first and foremost. Because what Georgia will need more than anything else is educated young people who can deal with the kinds of challenges that the 21st Century will bring, that are ready for the kinds of jobs Georgia will need in the 21st Century. You have to have educated young people so that those who want to trade with Georgia will find an educated population here, ready for the kinds of jobs they want to bring into the country. But as you do that, as you get ready for jobs, as you get your education, make sure you’re giving something back to your society. What we say to all of our young people in America: you are blessed, you are blessed living in America. You could say you are blessed living in Georgia under this new leadership. But as part of that blessing, you pick up an obligation: an obligation to serve the society. And it is not necessarily just to become a politician as a way of serving society. When you mentor a child, when you go to a school and help young people learn to read, when you take care of an older person: this is all part of serving society and this is what young people should organize themselves to do.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible) and I am from Abkhazia. During the ten years in Abkhazia, the peace forces there are peace forces present in Abkhazia but they the IPDs were expressing their protest against occupation army of Russia, because we could very obviously see the role of Russia in the conflict of Abkhazia and our ex-government was using this one side processes, peacemaking processes (inaudible). And we know that America is giving some recommendations to this peacemaking forces, I can call them criminal peacemaking forces. Are you going to continue your recommendations and your involvement in this process in cooperation with the peacemaking forces?

Secretary Powell: We will continue to make the case that the Russian Federation should comply with its Istanbul obligations. We will also continue to work with international organizations that have an interest in this to see if solutions cannot be found to these three difficult problems dealing with Ossetia, Abkhazia and Ajara. And as the Ambassador reminds me, we do have a U.N. military observer group in Abkhazia watching over these matters.

Question: (In Georgian) Journalist (inaudible) newspaper. I am very happy, sir, that I have met a man of your rank. However, I haven’t been in America and I am very sorry for that…if you promote me for this I would be happy to visit America as a journalist. Now my question, there have been asked several questions on Abkhazia, but Georgia has lost not only Abkhazia but also South Ossetia. I am interested you as an author of the Desert Storm, what is your position? What storm should take place in Georgia in order to recover the lost territory by the country?

Secretary Powell: We’re not looking for a storm. I think what we should look for first is the new government to get installed today and over the next weeks as the Cabinet is formed and deal with the immediate problems that face this society and that over time, as I’ve said earlier, working with the international community and especially with the OSCE, work on a plan that the OSCE has that would resolve the situation and resolve the conflict in South Ossetia. And so, I think we have to be patient and do everything we can to find peaceful solutions, confidence building between all of the parties, and use the tools provided by the international community, principally OSCE, but others as well – the U.N. has a role to play, as the Ambassador mentioned – and find a way forward through these difficult times and on these difficult issues.

Question: (In Georgian) Mr. Secretary, I am a university professor from Tbilisi. I’d like to know your opinion about the Russian military bases here in Georgia. When are they going to leave and how can the U.S. stimulate this and perhaps encourage this process of their leaving? Thank you.

Secretary Powell: We all know the timelines that were set in the Istanbul Agreement of 1999. Those timelines have not been met. We have discussed this with the Russian Federation before and I expect to have the opportunity to discuss it with Russian authorities tomorrow during my visit in Moscow. I can’t tell you when it will come to pass but we will continue to convey to the Russian leadership that we believe they should meet their Istanbul obligations and the bases should be withdrawn.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible) Can you tell us a few words about new efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing? And do you consider Georgia as a U.S. partner in this field (inaudible) and our problem?

Secretary Powell: We do consider that Georgia is a partner in the counterterrorism effort. I had conversations earlier this morning with your State Minister, and your interim President, and your Foreign Minister, about the importance of Georgia being a strong partner with respect to stopping the laundering of money, Georgia serving as a transit area for drugs, making sure that Georgia is inhospitable as a place for terrorist elements to find a place to work out of. And I leave here with a solid commitment from your leadership that you are determined to be a good and strong partner in this regard.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible) I welcome you, sir. You have mentioned the role of the people educated in the west, the importance of this and also its important the experience of the people who had working experience in the west. Will you allow us with the issue of legal permits for working for Georgian citizens in the U.S.?

Secretary Powell: Well, as you know, it is possible to come to the United States and receive an education, get a visa that will allow you to get an education. But the specific circumstances required to, and conditions to get a visa to work in the United States, are the responsibility of our Department of Homeland Security. And I am obliged to follow the policies that they put forth. The Ambassador may wish to say a word about this one.

Ambassador Miles: Well, it is not easy to get a visa which would allow you to work in the United States. There are some major exceptions. If you have a Georgian restaurant in the United States and you want to hire a Georgian cook you probably could get a visa for that Georgian cook, but something very specific. Otherwise, frankly, it is quite difficult, and I personally, Mr. Secretary, don’t see that getting any easier under present economic situations and under present security situations. But it is kind of a myth in Georgia that we refuse everyone who applies for a visa. Yes, we have a high refusal rate, but 60% of the people who apply for visas get those visas, but those are for student visas, visitor visas, not for work permits.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible) of Children’s Center Hospital. Mr. Secretary, what is your opinion about…what are the main three problems in which Georgia needs support from the U.S. government?

Secretary Powell: I think we need to help you with respect to your reform effort: political reform, economic reform. We need to help you deal with the very very serious problem of corruption within your political system, within your society, which is draining away funds from the people. Corruption is nothing more than theft, theft of the people’s treasure. And it is a problem that is well recognized by your leadership and has been identified by the international community. And so, I think our principal efforts have to be directed toward helping the new President, the new Cabinet, deal with reforms within the society: political reforms, economic reforms, social reforms, and reforms which provide transparency to your financial system, transparency to your political system, which will get at the heart of the problem of corruption.

Our other assistance programs will be tailored to the specific infrastructure and other needs that the society has. And what the Ambassador will be doing, and our other officials will be doing, is now that the new President is in place being inaugurated this afternoon and with a new parliament that will hopefully be selected at the end of March, it’ll be a collaborative process so that it’s not just us saying, “this is what you need,” but you telling us where you think the need is greatest. And then we, looking at the assistance programs we have and the amount of money we have available, try to match those funds and those programs with the needs identified by the Georgian authorities.

Question: (In Georgian) (Inaudible). You are leaving for Russia, the country, which for the last two hundred years, have ruled this country, and of course they have their interests here. Are there any issues where the U.S. and the Russian interests coincide in respect of Georgia?

Secretary Powell: I think our interests coincide in that it is in the interests of both the United States and the Russian Federation to see a Georgia that is free, independent, and democratic. There’s no need, and there should be no need, for anyone to see that there is a competition between Russia and the United States with respect to Georgia. I believe this is old thinking, Cold War thinking, the kind of thinking that people would think old Generals like me still had, because most of my adult life I was involved in this contest between the Soviets and the United States. But all that is now behind us, and so, there is no need for people to see the United States and Russia, or the United States and anyone else in the region, finding a reason to compete with respect with Georgia. All we are interested in is helping the Georgian people build their democracy, a democracy that is resting on a solid foundation of respect for human rights, a solid foundation of democracy, which includes opposition parties debating different ideas, a democracy that is committed to fighting terrorism, a democracy that is committed to creating a nation and a society that lives in peace with its neighbors, and that over time as an earlier questioner asked, is integrated into the international organizations that will serve its interests. And so, I think we are living in a day and age when we should not see these things as competitive matters, but areas in which we can cooperate. And that’s the message I’ll be taking to Moscow tomorrow.

Question: (In Georgian) We all know. We all, who work in media, will know the role of media in this event in the recent events and we all know how the United States assisted Georgian media. But there still exists a threat that because of the financial situation, maybe it would be dependent on political forces. So are you going to increase your assistance toward Georgian media?

Secretary Powell: I don’t know if we have a specific program for that. The Ambassador may wish to speak to that. The one thing I can say is that you can’t have a functioning democracy unless you have a free media that is not constrained by the government in any way that speaks truth as it sees it, and that assists in the clash of ideas. A free media that can criticize, support, present a point of view, sometimes be very very fair, sometimes be very very unfair in the eyes of the person being spoken about. This is an essential feature of a democracy, an essential feature of the American democracy, and it was designed that way. We have a government, the government consists of a legislative branch, an executive branch, a court system, and above all, a free media that can look down at it all and criticize it and explain what’s going on to the people. And that’s the kind of media that I would like to see here in Georgia. How we can best support it and with what programs, the Ambassador might want to say a word about it.

Ambassador Miles: Well, thanks. We do have some good programs and we will continue those programs. They mostly involve training, both here and in the United States, exchanges of a professional nature. We’ll look for ways to expand those, too, though I don’t think we’ll be providing any kind of direct subsidy to the media. I don’t really think that would be a terribly helpful role. So the media is going to have to struggle and compete for the money which will enable it to survive, but we can help make a more professional media, and help you to compete better, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

Secretary Powell: I’m afraid we’re out of time, so thank you very much and good luck in your efforts to build this new nation of yours.

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Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin

Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).