Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), a senior member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement on elections in the Republic of Georgia:
"I have had the privilege of leading the National Democratic Institute's election observation mission to the Republic of Georgia. Together with a group of international election observers from seven countries, including current and former elected officials, former diplomats, representatives of non-government organizations and regional experts, we observed polling places that were run in a professional manner and ballot casting that was conducted peacefully.
"First and foremost, I wish to congratulate the people of Georgia on holding open, transparent and peaceful elections. I believe that this achievement will consolidate Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration process. As is often the case during election periods, the focus has been on differences between the parties, and passions have run high at times, but as the newly elected Parliament convenes, I fully expect the parties to reconcile their differences and chart a common future together, for the good of the country.
"President Saakashvili and the United National Movement has a solid record of achievement since the 2003 Rose Revolution, and the conduct of this election, including the peaceful, democratic transfer of power, is now a part of this significant legacy. I look forward to working with the next Georgian government, led by the Georgia Dream coalition, to continue the reform process and further strengthen relations between the United States and the Republic of Georgia.
"I want to thank NDI, IRI, OSCE, ODIHR and the other highly professional organizations that have been involved in preparing and observing these elections. The international community's continued support for democratic reforms and modernization is of great importance and I will continue to focus on Georgia's progress through my work on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs." [End]