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Speculations Emerge on U.S.-Georgia Military Treaty
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Dec.'08 / 18:59

While Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, said it was “untimely” to speak about having any “concrete document” on bilateral military cooperation treaty with the United States, another senior lawmaker from the ruling party said such draft existed.

At a joint news conference with visiting U.S. Deputy Assistance Secretary of State, Matthew Bryza, Bakradze was asked to comment on reports about possible bilateral military cooperation treaty with the United States. The Parliamentary Chairman responded: “We have talked about further deepening of our relations – like we always do; of course there are concrete ways on how to further enhance cooperation and how to further institutionalize these relations; this is an issue, which we regularly discuss.”

“As far as concrete documents are concerned, speaking about that matter is untimely and irrelevant,” Bakradze added.

“I have really nothing to add; the Speaker spoke perfectly,” Bryza said at the same news conference on the same issue.

An influential lawmaker from the ruling party, Givi Targamadze, however, indicated on December 16, that the draft agreement already existed.

MP Targamadze, who chairs the parliamentary committee for defense and security, told Rustavi 2 TV, that the potential agreement would “actually involve cooperation in all the spheres.”

“And what is the most attractive and important for us now, it also involves the military cooperation; it involves issues related with further equipment and development of our armed forces and also – I will put it with words as formulated in the draft – all measures to jointly tackle threats,” MP Givi Targamadze said.

The Georgian daily, 24 Saati (24 Hours), reported on December 15 that the draft of the agreement existed. “Information has been leaked that this agreement will be signed between Tbilisi and Washington in the nearest future,” the newspaper wrote.

Lawmakers from the parliamentary minority spoke about the issue with journalists after meeting with Mathew Bryza earlier on December 16.

“Bilateral cooperation, which may also include political-military cooperation is necessary and we call on the governments of both the United States and Georgia to immediately start working on the matter,” MP from Christian-Democratic Party, Levan Vepkhvadze, a vice-speaker of the Parliament, said.

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