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'Georgia to Stay in Afghanistan Until Mission Accomplished'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Nov.'10 / 22:59

President Saakashvili said on November 19 that Georgia would remain committed to the Afghan mission until it's accomplished.

Saakashvili made the remarks at a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, on a sideline of NATO summit in Lisbon.  

“You know we are second biggest per capita contributors to Afghanistan in terms of numbers of troops. We have no caveats and we are fighting alongside the Americans, Canadians, with British and we are willing to stay there until the mission is accomplished,” he said.

Georgia has 950 troops in Afghanistan; five Georgian soldiers were killed in combat in two separate incidents in early and late September.

Saakashvili also said at the meeting with the Canadian PM: “We love Canada in Georgia, not only in Georgia, but in the whole region, and not only because it’s a great country but it has been paying great attention to our region. It has been outspoken in defence of values and it’s a great ally in Afghanistan."

Georgian State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues, Giorgi Baramidze, said that Canada "is an active supporter to Georgia's NATO integration." "These relations are very important for us," he said.

Meanwhile, Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister, Giga Bokeria, said on November 19, that Georgia was expecting that NATO summit in Lisbon would give a "firm" recommitment to its decision at the Bucharest summit in 2008 to eventual Georgian membership.

“We hope and we have a ground to hope that at this summit a very clear message will be made about future of Georgia’s NATO membership – that is a very firm reiteration of the NATO Bucharest summit decision; as you know there have been speculations on this issue and it is important to remove all the question marks about it,” Bokeria said.

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