On October 18, 2010 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies hosted the U.S. Atlantic Council Task Force’s visit to Georgia. The Atlantic Council’s bipartisan Task Force on Georgia, co-chaired by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), is part of the Atlantic Council’s Project on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration. The Task Force brings together top experts on a wide range of issues related to Georgia.
The delegation’s visit aimed to contribute to the Task Force’s overarching goal to encourage a bipartisan consensus on policy toward Georgia. Under this objective, the delegation members will produce recommendations for the U.S. officials and their counterparts in Europe and Tbilisi outlining steps for promoting Georgia’s continued path toward reform and democratization. Throughout their stay in Georgia, the Task Force representatives conducted a number of high-level meetings with top Georgian government officials, international community representatives, democratic opposition members and civil society actors. Additionally, the delegation members visited Batumi and met with the local government officials, as well as representatives from the local media and NGO network. Their visit lasted for five days.
During the visit, the Foundation, in partnership with the Atlantic Council Task Force delegation, organized an international workshop titled “Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic Integration: The Role of the International Community.” The half-day workshop included three panels of presentations: Prospects and Challenges for Georgia’s Reform Agenda; Coordinating U.S and EU Policy on Georgia; and Promoting Regional Stability. The panel featured local policy experts, government officials and representatives from the U.S. and EU institutions: Mr. Temuri Yakobashvili, the Georgian State Minister on Reintegration, Mr. Dimitri Shashkin, Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Alexander Nalbandov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Damon Wilson, Vice President and Director of the International Security at the Atlantic Council, H. E. Eric Fournier, Ambassador of the Republic of France, Mr. Kent Logsdon, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, , H. E. Hansjorg Haber, Head of the EU Monitoring Mission.
The workshop attendees included analysts, experts, Georgian as well as foreign government delegates, diplomats and representatives from international organization and think-tanks.