British Conservative MP and former defense secretary, Liam Fox, is visiting Georgia, holding talks with the Georgian leadership.
On January 9 he met with Georgian Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, and discussed Georgia’s contribution to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, as well as security issues in the region, including, as he put it, “the fear of Iran’s nuclear programme.”
“First of all it was an opportunity for me as former defense secretary to thank the Georgian government… for the cooperation we have in Afghanistan. Georgia’s participation is hugely appreciated in the United Kingdom and in ISAF as whole,” Liam Fox said after meeting with the Georgian Defense Minister.
“We discussed situation in Afghanistan, pattern of violence and how we would respond to that. We discussed situation in Iran and the fear of Iran’s nuclear programme and also of wide instability in the region, which of course affects not just the region itself, but the wider global picture,” he said.
According to the Georgian MoD the basic direction of cooperation is in educational sphere. Within the frame of British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) Georgian instructors undergo annual training on the international peacekeeping operations issues in Military Academy in Viskovo (Czech Republic). A full-time British security defense advisor works with the Georgian MoD.
Liam Fox, who is expected to meet with Interior Minister, Foreign Minister and Secretary of National Security Council, also visited an administrative boundary line with breakaway South Ossetia, or as he put it, “line of occupation” between “free Georgia” and “occupied Georgia”.
“Mr. Fox is a huge friend of Georgia,” Bacho Akhalaia, the Georgian defense minister, said. “We have exchanged our views on broad range of issues, mainly on security matters. We receive an important assistance, political and other ones, from Britain and we discussed these issues in details.”