US Commander of NATO Resolute Support Mission Visits Georgia
TBILISI - The Commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Resolute Support Mission and United States (US) Forces in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, is visiting Tbilisi today.
The US General was welcomed by Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, at the Governmental Administration.
The parties discussed issues pertaining to NATO-Georgia and US-Georgia strategic partnership and prospects of deepening defense cooperation.
The two sides also underlined Georgia’s engagement in the Resolute Support Mission and the contribution to international security.
General Nicholson thanked the Georgian side for active participation in various peacekeeping missions in order to ensure global security and underlined that the US would always stand by Georgia’s side.
“Georgians have been serving alongside Americans for years in Afghanistan, and we certainly appreciate their contribution… The US firmly supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," General John Nicholson stated after the meeting.
He also added that Georgian soldiers clearly demonstrated their commitment by participating in the Noble Partner joint trainings, which also involved American and British soldiers training together with Georgians.
Kvirikashvili noted that the US General’s visit demonstrates the importance of US-Georgia bilateral relations and appreciation for Georgia's continued contributions to international security missions.
General Nicholson also met with the Defense Minister of Georgia, Levan Izoria. The sides discussed issues of bilateral cooperation in the defense field.
According to Izoria, the parties agreed to plan and implement Georgia’s preparedness program, considered under the memorandum signed by Georgia and the US.
General Nicholson stated that 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 for that coast to be secure. There is a strategy that envisages aerial and marine patrol police and trainings and exercises as well,” the General noted.
Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the NATO peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan and the fifth largest contributor among all contributor countries.
By Thea Morrison