7/31 @ 11:30 AM ET | Speaker Boehner Press Conference - WATCH LIVE HERE

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) today met with the President of Georgia, His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili. Boehner released the following statement on the meeting:

“I want to thank the President of Georgia, His Excellency Mikheil Saakashvili, and House Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for joining me for a productive discussion today.

“We had a constructive conversation about the importance of ensuring Georgia’s commitment to freedom and democracy is not undermined.  As a people that shook off the yoke of ‘absolute Tyranny’ with the help of close allies, and created for ourselves a government whose powers are derived ‘from the consent of the governed,’ the United States has long seen it as a moral duty to assist those who seek the blessings of self-government for themselves.  That is why the American people will continue to stand with others struggling for democracy over the forces of despotism, dignity over degradation, and freedom over subjugation.

“The Georgian people understand all too well that the rights of a free people can never be taken for granted, and have been an important ally in our campaign against terrorism and radical extremism.  We are grateful for their commitment of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we mourn the loss of those Georgians who have given their lives to ensure stability and security for, and to deny malevolent interests sanctuary in, both of those countries.

“In our discussion we also reaffirmed other cherished values, including the role and involvement of citizens in petitioning their government, and the necessity of peaceful resolutions to political conflict.”

NOTE: A high-resolution photo of Speaker Boehner and Georgian President Saakashvili can be found online here courtesy of the Office of the Speaker.