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Reported decrease of peacekeepers in Afghanistan rejected

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 6
Georgia’s Ministry of Defence has released a special statement in which it has rejected claims by the Rustavi 2 TV channel that the current government of Georgia intends to decrease the number of Georgian soldiers in international peacekeeping missions, in Afghanistan, Central Africa and Mali.

“It’s an incorrect report. Georgia remains faithful to the obligations taken before NATO and our soldiers remain in Afghanistan as is envisaged through the agreement, referring to the Georgian contribution which will last until spring 2018,” the Ministry stressed.

They highlighted Georgia “appropriately evaluated” the military challenges the country and the world were facing.

The Ministry stated that now they were working with NATO and other allies in order for Georgia to “maximally and rationally” share its forces for domestic and foreign needs for 2019.

The Defence Ministry said all such important decision would be made only after consultations with the country’s strategic partners.

Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the Resolute Support mission, with 885 troops.

The Resolute Support mission was a follow-on task from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, to which Georgia contributed about 750 troops on rotation.

In May 2015, Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili issued a new decree on the participation of Georgian soldiers in European Union (EU) peacekeeping missions in the Central African Republic and Mali.

The decree envisaged sending five military personnel to the CAR for participation in the rapid response team, while one soldier was sent to Mali to take part in an EU training mission.

The UN-mandated EU peacekeeping mission, commonly referred to as EUFOR RCA, is based in Bangui, and the goal of the mission is to stabilise the area after an internal conflict.

Georgian troops have been serving in the EUFOR RCA operation since April 2014, after an agreement about the mission was reached in January 2014.