Washington D.C. – Ranking Member Eliot Engel, the senior Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today regarding Georgia’s European future.

“On November 20, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously passed H. Res. 402. This bipartisan resolution, which I introduced, supports the European aspirations of Georgia and other states in the region, which are poised to deepen their ties with Europe as part of the European Union’s (EU) Eastern Partnership initiative. At the end of November, Georgia is set to initial a historic agreement with the EU which will help to strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, and bolster the rule of law. This agreement has been made possible by Georgia’s laudable progress in adopting democratic norms and standards necessary for closer relations with Europe, including holding a peaceful and transparent presidential election in October. It also is noteworthy that Georgia has persevered on its democratic path despite considerable pressure from Russia. Most recently, Russia has erected physical barriers around the occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where Russian troops remain despite a commitment to withdraw to positions held before the 2008 conflict. The U.S. must continue to stand up for Georgia’s sovereign right to make its own choices, and must continue to support Georgia as it builds a democratic, European future for its people.”