Georgia is willing to send more troops to contribute to the coalition forces in Iraq, President Saakashvili said on March 4.
“We are ready to send more troops to Iraq within the year… You know that the next year will be decisive in terms of stabilizing the situation in Iraq… We want to show that Georgia is not running away from the difficult situation, but contrary to this, we are ready to contribute further,” Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili also reiterated that Georgian plans to send troops to Afghanistan to contribute to NATO-led forces there. He said in an interview with CNN on February 27 that “we are talking at this point about [sending] several hundred troops” to Afghanistan.
Georgia currently has about 850 of its elite troops in Iraq and represents one of the most significant contributors to the coalition forces in terms of per capita troop deployment.
A total of 18 Georgian servicemen have been injured in Iraq since August, 2003, when Georgia first started to contribute to coalition forces there.
On March 4 Saakashvili was speaking while visiting the construction site of a new military base near the town of Gori.
He said that he wants to inaugurate the new NATO-standard military base on May 26 – Georgia’s Independence Day.
“This is my beloved construction site, which is a symbol of new Georgia,” Saakashvili said.