The Cable

Saakashvili honors Lieberman for bringing ‘Joe-mentum’ to Georgia’s cause

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is in town for the Richard Holbrooke memorial today at the Kennedy Center, honored Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on Wednesday night for his support of Georgia following their 2008 war with Russia. In a dinner and ceremony held at the Georgetown Club, Saakashvili awarded Lieberman the Saint George’s Victory Order, ...

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Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who is in town for the Richard Holbrooke memorial today at the Kennedy Center, honored Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on Wednesday night for his support of Georgia following their 2008 war with Russia.

In a dinner and ceremony held at the Georgetown Club, Saakashvili awarded Lieberman the Saint George’s Victory Order, which is awarded to individuals who have significantly contributed to victorious battles. Previous American recipients include Holbrooke, President George W. Bush, and then Senator Joe Biden.

Lieberman flew to Georgia in August 2008 just a few days after the Russian-Georgian ceasefire was reached, together with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). They were both involved in the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). McCain, who famously declared, "We are all Georgians," was awarded the Order of the National Hero of Georgia in 2008.

In his remarks on Wednesday, Lieberman spoke about the continuing bond between the U.S. and Georgia and called for a deepening defense partnership. He also emphasized the importance of continuing democratic reform in Georgia in order to advance its transatlantic future.

"Every step that Georgia takes towards greater democracy and rule of law is also a step towards greater security," he said.

Lieberman also spoke about the role Georgian troops are playing in Afghanistan, and thanked Saakashvili and his government for the service and sacrifice of Georgia’s military alongside U.S. troops.

But Lieberman didn’t receive a gold-plated revolver recovered from a Russian soldier, as McCain did.

Also in attendance at the dinner were Georgian ambassador to the U.S. Batu Kutelia, Georgian minister of economy and development Vera Kobalia, and Raphael Glucksmann, one of Saakashvili’s closest advisors and son of French philosopher Andre Glucksmann.

Lieberman brought his neighbors and their son to the dinner. Also Ken Wollack, president of National Democratic Institute, Steve Nix, regional director of Eurasia for International Republican Institute, and Orion Strategies’ Randy Scheunemann attended.

 Twitter: @joshrogin

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