TBILISI, DFWatch – During a visit to Georgia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised that it will become easier for people in the breakaway regions to visit the U.S.
“We see this as step forward to achieving a peaceful and fair solution to the conflicts in Georgia,” Clinton said Tuesday in Batumi, a port and holiday resort on the Black Sea. She was speaking at a conference about the strategic partnership between Georgia and the U.S.
The Secretary of State’s proposal sounded similar to a proposal made by Georgia last year, but Mrs Clinton did not specify whether her arrangement would mean that the U.S. simply recognizes the so-called neutral passports.
Neutral passports was a suggestion made by Georgia last year as a way to let people in the breakaway regions travel abroad. Today, they are unable to use their Russian passports except for going to Russia, and the locally issued passports are not recognized internationally.
Clinton highlighted the U.S.’ approach to how trust may be restored between the parties to the twenty year old conflict, which she said could be done by paying attention to relations between people. “This will help us in transformation of the situation.”
Then she went on to reiterate the position of the U.S., that the Russian occupation is illegitimate and that Russia must fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement. She further noted that the U.S. continues to support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.