PM notes importance of US friendship

Garibashvili visited the US missile cruiser and addressed the attendants of the festive ceremony yesterday., 19 Aug 2014 - 12:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

"This day is yet another clear confirmation of the strong support we have from the American Government,” said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili after a festive ceremony on the American missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf in Batumi.

Garibashvili was hosted by the American Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland and the ship’s Captain.

The navy vessel docked in Batumi yesterday to reaffirm its support for NATO partners and promote security in the region.

On board the ship, Garibashvili inspected the cruiser and addressed ceremony guests. He said the arrival of the ship reiterated the support of the United States (US) for ensuring security in Georgia and across the Black Sea Region in general.

"I would like to emphasize that partnership with the United States of America is one of the top priorities in our country's foreign policy. We prize the US support of Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic development, and integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions,” he said.

The PM also praised the US Government in assisting the development and modernisation of the Georgian Armed Forces and other law enforcement agencies.

"Thanks to the patronage of the United States of America, today we have high quality troops contributing to strengthening international peace in Afghanistan,” Garibashvili noted.

He also spoke about the important project agreement between the US Defense Department and the Coastline Security Service under the Border Police of Georgia.

"This project was implemented by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at the US Embassy. As part of this project, we have been provided with a crane to haul ships, construction of piers and an enclosed port in Batumi is underway, and spare parts for watercraft have been purchased. Additional equipment was installed at the shipyard and its employees were provided with training,” he said.

Garibashvili remembered the opening of Joint Maritime Operations Centre, which took place on July 24, 2014,in Supsa Station. He noted the Centre would play important role in coordinating the work of State Border Protection entities and agencies in charge of border control.

At the end of his speech the PM thanked the US Government, Ambassador Norland and American guests for showing continued, unwavering support to Georgia and assisting the country develop its military to be highly professional, effective and flexible and in line with international standards.

"I reiterate what has been said many times. The friendship and support of America is of utmost importance to us. We certainly know what friendship is about and we will always stand by loyal supporters of Georgia,” he said.

The American military ship yesterday visited Batumi to reaffirm the United States’ support for Georgia and the wider region and will stay in the Batumi port until August 20.