US Secretary of Defense James Mattis has sent a letter to Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and thanked him for his commitment to the country's defense reforms and investment in the Georgian armed forces.
The letter reads that Georgia's spending of two per cent of GDP on defense and 20 per cent of defense spending on major equipment purchases is in line with NATO standards.
The US Defense Secretary also commends the work of Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria and his “in-depth knowledge of US-Georgia bilateral defense cooperation”.
Prioritising defense reform and spending illustrates Minister Izoria's dedication to the readiness and modernisation of Georgia's armed forces. He has simultaneously reduced personnel costs by 15 per cent, an essential step to ensure Georgia's capability investments are sustainable.
Mattis also offered his “deepest gratitude” for Georgia' s long-standing support for NATO's mission Resolute Support in Afghanistan.
“As I recently commented at the NATO Ministerial, Georgia has endured tremendous sacrifices, fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO and Afghan forces, in some of the most dangerous provinces in the country. Our alliance depends on courageous, willing, resilient partners to share the burden of our mutual security interests and project stability around the globe. Georgia has proven itself one of NATO's most steadfast partners”, reads the letter.