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NATO has special strategy for Black Sea security

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, November 8
General John Nicholson, the Commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Resolute Support Mission and United States (US) Forces in Afghanistan, stated that the US firmly supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty while holding official meetings in Tbilisi on November 7.

The General met with the Defense Minister of Georgia, Levan Izoria, and thanked the Georgian Armed Forces for active participation in NATO peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan.

“It is an honor to be here, as Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the NATO peace missions in Afghanistan…I want to thank the Georgian people for this huge sacrifice. The US will stand beside Georgia, because Georgia is always with us when we need help,” General Nicholson stated.

The sides also agreed to intensify cooperation in defense field and discussed issues pertaining to NATO-Georgia and US-Georgia strategic partnership.

Georgia’s Defense Minister noted that the parties agreed to plan and implement Georgia’s preparedness program, considered under the memorandum signed by Georgia and the US.

“The General expressed his desire to actively participate in this program and promised to support its successful implementation," Izoria said and thanked the US General for firm political and practical support of the United States.

Moreover, the Georgian official promised to actively continue supporting global security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond it.

After meeting with the Defense Minister, the US Commander had a meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, at the Governmental Administration headquarters.

During the meeting, the sides highlighted Georgia’s engagement in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission and the contribution to international security.

“I cannot overestimate our appreciation of partnership with Georgia, as clearly demonstrated by the Noble Partner joint trainings, which involved American and British soldiers participating in training together with their Georgian counterparts. The US firmly supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," General John Nicholson stated after the meeting.

Kvirikashvili and Nicholson also touched upon regional security issues. According to the General, the Black Sea Region security is very important for NATO.

“Many allies and partner countries are located along the Black Sea coast. Therefore it is very important that the Sea to be secured. There is a strategy that envisages air and marine patrol police and trainings and exercises as well,” Commander Nicholson said, adding that the Alliance had a special strategy regarding the Black Sea Region, which included air and sea patrol as well as ground war training.