Washington, DC-On Friday, February 29, 2008, Mamuka Tsereteli, President of the Georgian Association and Nino Japaridze, Board Member of the Georgian Association, along with representatives of the Central and East Europe Coalition (CEEC) met with Anthony Lake, Ph.D., senior foreign policy advisor for Senator Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Joining Dr. Lake, and facilitating the meeting, was Mark Brzezinski, also a well-known foreign policy expert. In his opening remarks, Anthony Lake touched on many important issues of concern to the member organizations of the CEEC.
Among the topics of discussion were NATO enlargement (especially in light of the upcoming Bucharest Summit in April 2008) and the backsliding of democratic trends in the Russian Federation. In regards to NATO, Lake clearly stated that the enlargement process “reinforces democracy in all nations of Europe,” and brings all European nations together. Anthony Lake described the process itself as “not just of strategic importance [to the United States], but of morality, as well.”
Russia’s recent trend of more authoritarian control also sparked a few comments from Lake. Having expressed concern for the current government policies of President Vladimir Putin, Lake stressed, “We must engage them [the Russians] on issues of mutual interest and concern, but at the same time broaden our relations with the Russian people, not just the Russian government.”
“This meeting gave the Georgian Association the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern and interest and we look forward to working closely with policymakers in Washington on these key issues for our community,” Mamuka Tsereteli noted.