President Saakashvili arrived in the Heldmand province of Afghanistan on December 31 to spend the New Year’s Eve with the Georgian troops serving there.
In his address to the troops, small portion of which was posted on the President’s official YouTube channel late on Monday, Saakashvili told Georgian soldiers, serving in Afghanistan, that their “mission was of historic importance” and that he was there accompanied by a group of Georgian lawmakers.
President’s administration announced about Saakashvili’s intention to visit Georgian troops in the Helmand province on December 25.
Saakashvili first traveled to Afghanistan to meet Georgian troops there in February, 2012.
Georgia has lost total of nineteen soldiers in Afghanistan since joining ISAF mission in November, 2009, eight of them this year.
During his address Saakashvili also said that he would initiate a draft law envisaging additional social benefits in a form of pension for the soldiers, who served in Afghanistan, and their families; details were not clear.
The initiative comes after the Ministry of Defense announced on December 26 that Georgian soldiers serving in Afghanistan would get pay raise starting from January, 2013.