Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Michael Carpenter, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, in Tbilisi on December 6.
It was noted at the meeting that “the U.S.-Georgia defense and security cooperation moves to a new stage” and the memorandum signed during the visit of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry to Tbilisi in July, “creates an absolutely new framework for this partnership,” according to the Georgian PM’s office.
The sides discussed the main issues of Georgia-U.S. strategic partnership and Georgia’s ongoing and planned reforms. The U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense thanked PM Kvirikashvili for Georgia’s contribution to global peace and security.
PM Kvirikashvili said at the meeting with the U.S. delegation that the assistance rendered by the United States to Georgia is “crucial” and in this context he mentioned the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 2.
This voluminous document authorizing appropriations for military activities of the Department of Defense contains a section on support for Georgia, where the country is described as “a valued friend of the United States”, which “has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to advancing the mutual interests of both countries, including the deployment of Georgian forces as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the Multi-National Force in Iraq.”
“The European Reassurance Initiative builds the partnership capacity of Georgia so it can work more closely with the United States and NATO, as well as provide for its own defense,” the document reads.
It also says that the congress “reaffirms United States support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders, and does not recognize the independence of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions currently occupied by the Russian Federation; and supports continued cooperation between the United States and Georgia and the efforts of the Government of Georgia to provide for the defense of its people and sovereign territory.”
During his visit U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Michael Carpenter also met with President Giorgi Margvelashvili.
“The sides focused on the importance of the new Georgia Readiness Program, implementation of which will begin in early 2017. It was noted that the program is especially important for strengthening Georgia’s defense capabilities and sustainability, as well as regional security,” the Georgian President’s office said.