Latvian Defence Minister visits Georgia

Georgia's Defence Minister Irakli Alasania and Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis at the welcoming ceremony., 25 Jun 2014 - 13:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania is hosting his Latvian counterpart in Georgia today.

Latvia’s Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis is on an official visit to Tbilisi.

Alasania welcomed Vejonis to the Georgian Ministry of Defence today, where a welcoming ceremony was held. At the ceremony the military brass band of the National Guard performed the Latvian and Georgian national anthems.

Following the ceremony, the two countries’ Defence Ministers engaged in a meeting, where the Georgian official thanked the Latvian official for supporting Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and its territorial integrity. Alasania also briefed Vejonis on the various reforms implemented in the defensive sector in Georgia, particularly how the Georgian defence system had undergone a significant transformation by up skilling military personnel, improving infrastructure, depoliticizing the Army and introducing a pay-by-rank salary system.

Georgia’s prospects of integrating with NATO were another topic heavily discussed at the meeting. Alasania told informed Vejonis about Georgia’s contribution to international missions led under the aegis of NATO and European Union (EU) in Afghanistan and Central African Republic. Attention was also drawn to the importance of Georgia signing an Association Agreement with the EU on June 27.

Alasania underlined the importance of Latvian observer participation in the EU Monitoring Mission and active involvement of "Georgia III” Latvian side in the NATO Material-Technical Support Agency project.

The Ministers also discussed ways of mutual assistance and future cooperation between Georgia and Latvia.

Later today, the Latvian Minister of Defence and Latvian delegation members will lay a wreath at the memorial of heroes fallen in the fight for unity of Georgia, and visit the Krtsanisi National Training Center.

Within his visit to Georgia, Minister Vejonis will also take a part in the Georgian Defence and Security Conference held in Batumi on June 26-28.