Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Georgian Damage Assessment Delegation and Government representatives meet in Tbilisi

A meeting between the Georgian Damage Assessment Delegation from the US and Georgian Government representatives was held behind closed doors on August 25 at the Tbilisi Marriott Hotel. US assistance for Georgia to address damage done by the Russian aggression was discussed at the meeting. As Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze stated, the Delegation is an economic entity visiting Georgia to determine what kind of assistance the country is in need of. According to Gurgenidze, America has been actively involved in these discussions since August 11.

The US Deputy Secretary of State forf Economy, Energy and Agriculture, Ruben Jeffrey, led the American delegation, and declared that he had had a very constructive and serious conversation with the Georgian Prime Minister. He mentioned that this is his first visit in regard to damage assessment, and it is being discussed how the two countries should cooperate to provide assistance to Georgia in terms of humanitarian aid, rehabilitation and economic development. The Minister of Economic Development Eka Sharashidze and the Minister of Energy Alexander Khetaguri also attended the meeting.

According to released information, American aid is expected to total more than USD one billion. The Minister of Economy emphasized that at the first stage the most important thing is humanitarian assistance, then the settlement of IDPs and the restoration of their living conditions and damaged infrastructure. The visit will last until August 27.

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