General Philip Breedlove visits Georgia
Thursday, October 23
General Philip Breedlove NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and Commander of the U.S. European Command, paid a visit to Georgia. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania received the NATO high-ranking official. The NATO-Georgia partnership, implemented defence reforms, participation in international missions and the future plans of cooperation were discussed at the meeting. The sides focused on the implementation of the Substantial Package granted to Georgia at the NATO Wales Summit. The regional security environment was also highlighted during the discussions. The attendees of the meeting drew attention to the threats posed to Georgia given Russia’s aggressive policy and the steps to be taken by the international community to insure stability in the region.
Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia William Lahue and NATO Military Liaison Officer COL Maximilian Eder attended the meeting. The Georgian side was represented by Chief of the General Staff of Georgian Armed Forces Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and the leaders of the MoD and Armed Forces.
General Philip Breedlove and Irakli Alasania made remarks for the representatives of the media after the meeting at the Georgian Defence Ministry.
Alasania summarized the results of the meeting and elaborated the future plans of cooperation with the Alliance:
“It is a great honor for us to host the NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Georgia who brought the key message to the Georgian people – NATO stands by our side and will assist Georgia to strengthen our defence capabilities. The alliance stands ready to assist Georgia on its path towards NATO integration. At the meeting with General Breedlove and members of his delegation, together with General Kapanadze, we discussed the details of the NATO-Georgia “Substantial Package”. We talked about the importance of the establishment of the joint training and evaluation center. We also outlined how to plan regular exercises in Georgia in cooperation with NATO. Our talks also referred to the regional threats, especially after the aggressive hostilities of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. We analyzed the ongoing processed in Iraq and Syria. We also discussed how NATO and Georgia are going to fight those threats with joint efforts. We agreed that Georgia will continue to contribute to the security mission in Afghanistan along with NATO in 2015. Georgia will have one of the largest contingent and our NATO partners are very grateful for our cooperation. I would like to thank General for the visit once again and NATO for showing the great support for Georgia as a reliable partner.”
In his remarks, General Breedlove also thanked Georgia for its contribution to international security.
“We had a great opportunity to talk this morning and several members of this leadership team joined us and we did have substantial conversations and came to a great understanding about the challenges in this part of the world and how Georgia is meeting those challenges.”
“As Georgians know, it is a difficult times in Europe, as Russia has again moved into a sovereign nation illegally, annexed part of it and used military force to impose its will and support its political objectives. NATO is keenly aware of this persistent threat and it is taking actions now to ensure that NATO nations can respond rapidly to these sorts of threats in the future.
In the coming weeks our foreign ministers will meet in Brussels and will further discuss the issue, as will the NATO Defence Ministers to define a final form of what we are now coming to know as the Rapid Response Force. Until that time, 28 of our nations are contributing to those assurance measures that we apply across NATO’s nations. We remain firmly committed to our collective defence responsibilities that remain fully invested in our partner nations as well.”
“The partnership that Georgia has made with NATO remains rock solid. As you are keenly aware at the NATO Summit in Wales we agreed on a substantial package and measures that will help Georgia advance in its preparation towards membership in NATO.”
“Key initiatives include the establishment of defence capacity building mission in Georgia with the particular focus on the Ministry of Defence and assistance to Georgia continue to reform a modernization of its defence and security sector. We will also increase our efforts to improve the ability of the Georgian Armed Forces to work together and operate together with NATO forces including through more participation in NATO exercises and military exercises here in Georgia.”
“Today’s security threats are global and the best response is the global response. No one country and no one alliance can tackle them alone, but if we work together we can. Partnerships are and will continue to be essential to the way NATO works. Partners have served together with us in Afghanistan, Kosovo and other operations sacrificing alongside the Alliance troops and working with us in combating terrorism and piracy. And as the commander of the operational part of NATO I think it is appropriate to thank you Minister, to thank Georgia and Georgian troops for their sacrifice alongside NATO in our fight in Afghanistan. As combat operations in Afghanistan we will ensure that the bonds forge between allied and partner nations. Armed forces remain as strong as ever. We have fought together now we will focus on preparing and training together.”
In the framework of the visit, General Philip Breedlove met with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and visited Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University. NATO General delivered a lecture for students from different higher institutions and answered their questions.