Georgia hails Obama's decision to maintain troops in Afghanistan

Georgia has 1,600 troops in Afghanistan’s Helmand province; Photo by MoD;, 29 May 2014 - 11:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia is welcoming the United States (US) President's plan to keep about 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan after 2014.

Georgia’s position was revealed after US President Barack Obama announced on May 27 to maintain a military presence in Afghanistan after the conclusion of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, in accordance with the Bilateral Security Agreement with the Afghan side.

Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry firmly stood behind President Obama’s decision and said Georgia would continue to contribute to this "extremely important mission”.

"We believe the ISAF is being successfully carried out over the years to strengthen security conditions for Afghan people, maintain stability and ensuring a better future,” said Georgia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement today.

Over time, the US said it would slowly reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan until none remained.

President Obama said the plan was to reduce the number of troops in 2015 and 2016, and at the end of 2016 he believed there would be virtually no soldiers left serving in Afghanistan.

Georgian officials believed Georgia should be proud of its military and the contribution it made to the ISAF mission.

"Georgia welcomes the continuous active engagement of the international community, first and foremost NATO in Afghanistan, with an aim of preserving an already achieved progress and its further amplification,” the Foreign Ministry said.

More than 52,000 NATO-ISAF forces, including 33,000 Americans, are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Georgia has 1,600 troops in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, making it the largest per capita troop-contributing nation.

The current ISAF mission is set to end in December.

The decision by the US expected to eliminate uncertainty as NATO allies and partners finalized plans for the Resolute Support mission to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces from the beginning of 2015 to cement coalition gains made over the past 13 years.