US and Georgia Sign a Security Cooperation Agreement

A new framework deal between Georgia and the United States takes defense and security cooperation between the two nations to an "essentially new level", the Ministry of Defense of Georgia announced after the signing of the agreement at the Pentagon on Thursday.

The text on collaboration was signed in Washington by Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the US Department of Defense officials. The document sets out priorities for the partnership over the next three years. It also aims to increase Georgia's defense competences and interoperability with partner nations and their militaries, in addition to recapping the defense department's support for the Georgian ministry.

The latter’s support will also be given to the Ministry of Defense's effort on rising defense capacity through "sustainable combat capabilities and strengthening of defence institutions.”

Following the signing of the framework deal, Garibashvili said the bilateral cooperation had seen Georgia evolve from a host country of annual defense exercises into an "independent partner".

The Georgian minister also noted the agreement was in "full correspondence with reforms ongoing at the Georgian Defense Forces for its modernization.”

Some of the principal elements of the renewed partnership include the Georgia Defense Readiness Program - a 2016-launched partnership on training and equipment of Georgian units as well as sustainable institutional development - and training of Georgian troops ahead of their rotational deployment to NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

By Beka Alexishvili

22 November 2019 17:55