President Saakashvili said on August 22 that Georgia has the smallest army in the region, but hailed it as “the most modern, the best trained, the best prepared and the most motivated.”
Saakashvili was speaking at the official opening ceremony for a Georgian army mountain training school in Sachkhere, western Georgia. Visiting U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and Under Secretary for Policy and Strategic Affairs of the French Defense Ministry Jean de Ponton d’Amecourt were also present at the opening ceremony.
Saakashvili said that the creation of the mountain training school “is a good example of cooperation” between the United States, France and Georgia.
French instructors are currently training Georgian officers at the new school.
“Today is an important day for us. We are today opening one more new, one more modern military base in Georgia… We already have Senaki military base, which is the most modern and the most impressive military base in the post-Soviet space and in Eastern Europe… Next May we will open another military base in Gori that will be equipped the way Georgia, Europe, and a future NATO-member state deserves,” Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili told Senator Lugar, who is visiting Georgia from August 22-24, that Georgia is grateful “for all the help and assistance the United States has been giving us in building up Georgian troops.”
“We have one of the smallest armies in the region, but it is an army that is capable of being valuable partner to every ally we have. We are present in Iraq and we will stay there till the end… and we are willing also to contribute to other important tasks that we jointly decide with your government. We also appreciate the standards you have set up here, standards that you have created for the Georgian army, and these things will last over generations,” Saakashvili said.
He also said that Georgia “will preserve its independence, we will strengthen Georgia’s liberty, and we will restore Georgia’s territorial integrity and will be happy and strong in our own country.”