TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says that his country’s military cooperation with the United States is moving into a new phase.
According Saakashvili’s press spokesperson, America no longer only prepares Georgian forces for tasks like anti-terrorism or the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, but takes an active role in building Georgia’s military capability.
According to Giorgi Baramidze, state minister for European integration, this deepening of cooperation means providing weapons and equipment.
Press spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze says U.S. president Barack Obama and Mr Saakashvili directly discussed how to improve Georgia’s security, while meeting at the White House Monday.
After their meeting Saakashvili told journalists that military cooperation for years had been within the frameworks of anti-terrorist operations or participation in Afghanistan and Iraq missions, but now the America will take an active role in developing Georgia’s defense.
He says meetings have been scheduled between appropriate officials from the two countries to further deepen military cooperation.
Manjgaladze says Georgia’s National Security Council Secretary will hold a meeting with representatives of the U.S. defense department, and in the near future there will also be a meeting bewteen the Georgian defense minister Bacho Akhalaia and U.S. defense minister Leon Panetta.