In a meeting this weekend with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Rep. Adam Schiff raised the need to coordinate and focus USAID assistance to meet humanitarian needs in the predominately Armenian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, the Armenian National Committee of America reports.
Rep. Schiff had worked on this issue with former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and USAID Director Rajiv Shah and sought to continue the emphasis on assistance to this economically vulnerable area. Schiff is in the Caucasus participating in a Helsinki Commission meeting.
President Margvelashvilli expressed his willingness to coordinate assistance to Javakheti, and added a new sense of urgency to the issue. With Georgia’s signing of an association agreement with the European Union this week and Armenia’s participation in the Russia-based customs union, it will be more important than ever, the President emphasized, to ensure that trade between Armenia and Georgia can continue unabated and grow.
The Javakheti region is particularly reliant on this trade, making resolution of any trade issues between countries belonging to the separate trade associations – and assistance to the region – all the more timely and vital.