US allocates $20 million in defence assistance to Georgia

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter meets his Georgian counterpart Tinatin Khidasheli to discuss matters of mutual importance at the Pentagon. Photo by Glenn Fawcett/US Department of Defence, 19 Aug 2015 - 13:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United States (US) is allocating $20 million USD in defence assistance to Georgia, announced the US Department of Defence.

Today's announcement came one day after US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter hosted Georgia's Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli in Washington D.C. At the August 18 meeting in the Pentagon the leaders discussed regional security issues and the US-Georgia defence relationship, said Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook.

The leaders reviewed ongoing US security assistance to Georgia's Armed Forces, including plans for the $20 million additional funding in 2015 through the European Reassurance Initiative.

U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter shows Georgian Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli the portrait of US Army Gen. John M. Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. photo by Glenn Fawcett/US Department of Defence.

"Secretary Carter also reaffirmed the United States' commitment to continuing defense cooperation with Georgia, including through annual bilateral and multilateral exercises and training,” the press secretary added.

"Secretary Carter commended Minister Khidasheli for Georgia's ongoing commitment to Afghanistan as the second-largest overall troop contributor to the NATO Resolute Support Mission,” Cook said in his statement.

"Secretary Carter also emphasised that the United States, together with our allies, remain committed to supporting Georgia through the NATO-Georgia Commission and the Substantial NATO-Georgia package agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit,” he added.

Tuesday’s meeting was a first between Carter and Khidasheli to discuss bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.