Bilateral consultations were held between the Georgian and U.S. sides in Washington.
Bilateral defence consultations
Thursday, December 19
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Evelyn N. Farkas, co-chaired the meeting with Georgian Deputy Defence Minister Micheil Darchiashvili. Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe, Lieutenant General Richard Treyon and Deputy Director of Plans, Policy and Strategy at the U.S. European Command Rear, Admiral Patrick Piercey attended the consultations as well.
The main topic of the consultations included discussions over defence cooperation aspects, defence reforms and future cooperation plans. The progress achieved by Georgia in the scope of intensified bilateral cooperation in the field of defence was also thoroughly discussed at the meeting.
Future cooperation areas were identified for 2014-15, which will promote the further development of the defence capabilities of the Georgian Armed Forces and the enhancement of their interoperability with NATO.
The American side expressed gratitude to the Georgian side for a huge contribution provided to the NATO-led ISAF operation. Georgia`s decision to continue participation in the post-ISAF period and to take part in the activities of NATO Response Force in 2015 was positively evaluated.
At the meeting, the American side underlined the United States` readiness to continue assistance for the development of national resources for rehabilitation of the Georgian military personnel wounded in international stability missions.
In the framework of the visit, Mikheli Darchiashvili also met with his American counterpart. The meeting with Dr. James N. Miller was held at the U.S. Department of Defence.
At the meeting the sides discussed deepening of Georgia-U.S. cooperation issues in the defence sphere, Georgia’s NATO integration prospects, Georgia’s contribution to the NATO-led ISAF mission, Georgia’s participation in the NRF and future cooperation plans. The security environment in Georgia and in the region was also focused on at the meeting.
“We updated our commitment with our American partners. Two battalions of the Georgian Armed Forces will continue their ISAF mission in Afghanistan till the mission ends. We also referred to Georgia’s participation in NRF after 2015. NRF separate certification process is ongoing at this moment which takes a year and a half. This process is derived from the high level of interoperability between Georgia and the Alliance,” stated Mikheil Darchiashvili.
During the visit to the US, the Deputy Defence Minister held a meeting with U.S. congressmen as well. Mikheil Darchiashvili informed Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) about the security environment in Georgia and the region. The sides discussed Georgia’s prospects for NATO and the EU, as well as the democracy consolidation process in the country. The U.S. congressmen expressed support to Georgian territorial integrity and sovereignty, as well as Georgia’s aspiration to NATO membership.