The EU has asked Georgia to contribute to its military mission in the Central African Republic, Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, said on Sunday.
“We are now at the stage of discussing this request; we will inform you when the decision is made,” he told journalists.
EU foreign ministers endorsed on February 10 to establish the EU military operation in the Central African Republic (EUFOR RCA) to provide “temporary support, for a period of up to six months, to help to achieve a secure environment in the Bangui area,” the capital of the country, in order to create the conditions for providing humanitarian aid.
Georgia and EU signed in November, 2013 a framework agreement on Georgia’s participation in EU’s crisis management operations.
Although Alasania said that Georgia is still considering a request, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani told journalists also on February 16: “It is important that Georgia is joining this mission.”
“Georgia should be not only a consumer but also a contributor to security; so it is important that we took this step and it is positive that Georgia will make its contribution to the global security,” he said.
Reuters reported, citing European diplomats, that Georgia, along with five other non-EU member states – Canada, Norway, Serbia, Turkey and the U.S. – participated in a “force generation” conference in Brussels on February 13 and voiced readiness to contribute to the operation in the Central African Republic.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on February 16, citing European diplomats, that Georgia could supply up to 100 troops.
Georgia currently has 1,560 soldiers in Afghanistan, making the country the fifth largest contributor to the ISAF mission after the U.S.; UK; Germany and Italy.