Georgia’s State Security Council denies offer of training centre for Syrian rebels

The council says it is planned neither to open any training centre in Georgia, nor sending any military contingent within the coalition., 23 Sep 2014 - 23:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Council for State Security and Crisis Management is confidently denying Georgia had no plans to host a training centre that would cater for foreign Islamic State fighters, including Syrian rebels.

The Council issued a statement that said with "full responsibility” the information spread through the media "as if it is planned to train Syrian rebels within the current international anti-terrorist operation against Islamic state, is not true.”

The Council said there were no plans to open a training centre in Georgia or send any military contingent within the coalition.

"In addition we declare that Georgia supports the effort of the international commonwealth in fighting against terrorism and confirmation of this is our participation in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan,” read the statement which insisted Georgia’s participation in the coalition created to fight the Islamic State implied the country would be involved in "only humanitarian missions”.

Earlier today an anonymous American administration official was quoted as telling Foreign Policy (FP) magazine that Georgia had offered to host a training facility for Syrian rebels as a part of the US-led war against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

The article, published online today, said Georgia’s offer was being touted as a potential boost for the Obama administration.

Meanwhile Ambassador of Georgia to the US Archil Gegeshidze denied the claim and said he was misquoted by the FP journalist. He said he was saddened the FP journalist misunderstood and "made such a mistake”. He believed the journalists could have "misunderstand the information that was provided to him”.

"If the issue come to the agenda, as well as other issues may, the Georgian Government will treat this with full responsibility, consider its pros and cons and only after this, will make a decision at the highest political level. But this response does not mean a confirmation in any way,” Gegeshidze commented to journalists.