Obama, Georgian president discuss Caucasus security challenges

January 15, 2011 11:04 am 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 — U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday met with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili, and both leaders discussed security challenges in the Caucasus.

"The leaders discussed Georgia's efforts to advance its economic development and increase trade," the White House said in a statement. "They also discussed security challenges in the Caucasus and the work of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) forces in Afghanistan, where brave Georgians stand shoulder to shoulder with American forces."

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also attended the meeting, the White House said.

Saakashvili came to Washington for the memorial service for Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who died of illness last month at the age of 69.

Saakashvili bestowed an award on Holbrooke at the service held on Friday afternoon at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Obama announced on the occasion the creation of an annual Richard Holbrooke Award to honor excellence in American diplomacy. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/utb

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