Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili visited a US missile cruiser in Batumi, where he was hosted by American Ambassador Richard Norland and the ship’s Captain Kats.
Gharibashvili visits American missile cruiser
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, August 20
Onboard the PM said that the arrival of the ship reiterated the support of the United States for ensuring security in Georgia and across the Black Sea region in general.
“This is more proof of the strong support Georgia has from the American government,” stated the PM.
“The partnership with the US is one of the top priorities in our country's foreign policy. We value the US’s support of Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic development, and integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions,” Gharibashvili stated.
The PM also spoke about the important project agreement between the US Defense Department and the Coastline Security Service under the Border Police of Georgia.
"This project was implemented by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the US Embassy. As part of this project, we have been provided with a crane to haul ships, construction of piers and an enclosed port in Batumi is underway, and spare parts for watercraft have been purchased. Additional equipment was installed at the shipyard and its employees were provided with training,” stressed Gharibashvili.
The PM also mentioned the opening of the Joint Maritime Operations Centre, which took place on July 24, 2014, in Supsa Station. Garibashvili said that the centre will play an important role in coordinating the work of State Border Protection entities and agencies in charge of border control.
“Georgia has many friends and the U.S. is among them,” stated Norland, adding that America is monitoring the situation in Georgia closely for the country to maintain high standards in various fields.
“Our goal is to see Georgia continue to move forward to a bright future.” The ambassador stressed that the U.S. government is especially attentive to the process ongoing in terms of former officials in Georgia.
To reaffirm its support for NATO partners and promote security in the region, the navy vessel docked in Batumi on August 18. The Norfolk-based guided missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf will stay in Batumi port till August 20.
The USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), a Ticonderoga-class ship will conduct routine combined training exercises with the Georgian Coastguard, provide ship tours and host a reception for local officials.