Georgia is negotiating with the European Union about its contribution to EU’s military training mission in Mali, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on March 18.
EU launched its mission in Mali in February with a purpose to send there more than 200 military personnel to train Mali government forces in the fight against Islamist rebels.
The mission (EUTM Mali) will not be involved in combat operations, according to EU’s decision.
Alasania first spoke about Georgia’s possible involvement in the EUTM Mali at GMF’s annual Brussels Forum over the weekend.
“We have received a proposal from EU to consider possibility of Georgia’s contribution to the European security and defence institutions. The Georgian government had discussions over this issue and we made a political decision; it is in Georgia’s vital interests to get further closer to the European Union and the European defence and security structures. So after the government made the decision, we launched negotiations with the European Union about how Georgia can contribute to this mission,” Alasania said, adding that more information would be made public after details are agreed.
EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said during her visit to Georgia in November, 2012 that she had invited Georgia to begin negotiations with the EU on the framework agreement for Georgia’s participation in EU crisis management operations.
In June, 2012 then foreign minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze told Civil.ge that Tbilisi was in consultations with the European Union to sign a framework agreement on participation in operations implemented under EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP).