Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, arrived in Georgia on Sunday to discuss the country’s contribution to operations in Afghanistan.
He arrived in Black Sea town of Batumi, where he was welcomed by President Saakashvili, after trip to Central Asia.
“I’m going from here to Georgia to review the Georgian battalion which is going to Afghanistan,” RFE/RL reported quoting Holbrooke as saying at a news conference in Kazakhstan. “My trip has nothing to do with Georgian-Russian relations. It’s about Georgia’s extraordinarily important contribution to the international effort in Afghanistan.”
Holbrooke's trip also included Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
On February 22 the U.S. Special Representative will visit Krtsanisi National Training Center, outside Tbilisi and observe training of the Georgian troops for the ISAF operation in Afghanistan.
Georgia has deployed 175 servicemen in Afghanistan and in addition it plans to send a battalion this spring, which will make Georgia the largest per capita contributor to the Afghan operation.
President Saakashvili has offered the United States to use the Georgian territory for armaments supply route to Afghanistan.
In March, 2005 Georgia and NATO signed an agreement envisaging use of Georgia’s air space, road and rail infrastructure for transit purposes by NATO to send supplies for its troops in Afghanistan. The route operating through Georgia, however, is not sanctioned for arms shipments.