WASHINGTON, 8 February 2019 – OSCE PA President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) and Secretary General Roberto Montella have participated in forums and a series of meetings in Washington, DC, this week, holding discussions with members of the U.S. Delegation to the OSCE PA, Helsinki Commission members, as well as officials from the State Department.
On Tuesday, Tsereteli addressed a seminar held at the U.S. Senate on the challenges facing South East Europe and Russia’s role in the region. Organized by the Senate Armed Services Committee and chaired by Senator James Inhofe, the event was promoted by Fatmir Mediu (Albania) and attended by several OSCE PA Members including Robert Aderholt (United States), Speaker of Montenegro’s Parliament and Head of Delegation Ivan Brajovic, and Head of Delegation of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Vladimir Gjorcev. Albanian President Ilir Meta also participated.
“American engagement in European security is even more important today as it was when the Helsinki Final Act was signed,” said Tsereteli. “I’m pleased that through these high-level meetings and seminars, colleagues in the United States Congress are clearly demonstrating their continued commitment to contributing to peace and stability across Europe and the OSCE.”
In his remarks, Tsereteli noted that continued instability means that the Western Balkans is reliant on external actors and therefore it is vital to facilitate peace and stability in the region. The PA President spoke about the importance of sustained U.S. and EU engagement in the region, and underlined the crucial work done by OSCE field missions in South Eastern Europe. President Tsereteli stressed the importance of Russia and other actors complying with international agreements and restraining from any malignant activities or hampering the Western Balkans’ European integration.
Tsereteli attended the U.S. President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday night. On Wednesday, he met with Congressman Brad Sherman, the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation to exchange on U.S.-European relations and discuss concerns over the withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty earlier this month. The sides also discussed OSCE PA activities.
On Thursday, the PA President and Secretary General took part in the National Prayer Breakfast, which featured a speech by President Donald Trump. They had an opportunity to exchange with several guests and dignitaries including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former Senator Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
President Tsereteli met today with members of the U.S. Delegation to the PA and State Department officials. In discussions with Denise Natali, who serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, and Pete Marocco, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Tsereteli emphasized the importance of increasing synergy between international organizations working on conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation.
Tsereteli will report on his visit to Washington at the OSCE PA’s Winter Meeting in Vienna on 21-22 February.