Georgia is considering possible contribution to UN peacekeeping missions, according to the Defense Ministry, which said that the issue was discussed during a meeting between Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet at the UN headquarters in New York on August 27.
“The Georgian side is considering possibility of deployment of observers and light infantry company size unit in peacekeeping operations ongoing under the UN aegis,” the Georgian Ministry of Defense said adding that officers will be identified, who will be trained in UN observers courses, as well as a military unit, which will require pre-deployment training and equipment.
“The Georgian side is ready to start consultations with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations [DPKO] to identify the fields of our eventual involvement in operations,” the Georgian MoD said.
Currently there are 15 peacekeeping operations worldwide under the UN aegis, led by the DPKO, including in Western Sahara; Mali; Haiti; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Sudan’s Darfur and Abyei regions; South Sudan; Liberia; Côte d'Ivoire; Kosovo; Cyprus; UN military observers are also deployed in Jammu and Kashmir monitoring the ceasefire line between India and Pakistan and there are several missions in the Middle East among them on the Golan Heights and Lebanon.
“Given their experience, an interest has been expressed by [UN official] towards involvement of Georgian [military] units in peacekeeping operations ongoing under the UN aegis,” said Col. Irakli Dzneladze, the Georgian army chief of staff, who was present at the meeting with the UN Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations.
Earlier this year the Georgian Defense Minister announced about readiness to contribute to EU’s military training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali).