Georgia and US sign framework deal on security cooperation

  • Georgia's defence minister Irakli Garibashvili (right) signed the new partnership agreement at the Pentagon on Thursday. Photo: Ministry of Defence of Georgia press office., 22 Nov 2019 - 16:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

A new framework deal between Georgia and the United States takes defence and security cooperation between the two states to an "essentially new level", the Ministry of Defence of Georgia announced after the signing of the agreement at the Pentagon on Thursday.

The document on cooperation, signed in Washington by defence minister Irakli Garibashvili and US Department of Defense officials, sets out priorities for the partnership over the next three years.

It also aims to contribute to increasing Georgia's defence capabilities and interoperability with partner nations and armed forces, in addition to reiterating the defense department's support for the Georgian ministry.

The latter support will also be channelled towards the Ministry of Defence's work on developing defence capacity through "sustainable combat capabilities" and a strengthening of defence institutions.

Garibashvili said following the signing of the framework deal the bilateral cooperation had seen Georgia evolve from a host country of annual defence exercises into an "independent partner".

The Georgian minister also noted the agreement was in "full correspondence" with reforms ongoing at the Georgian Defence Forces for its modernisation.

Some of the principal elements of the renewed partnership include the Georgia Defence Readiness Programme - a 2016-launched partnership on training and equipment of Georgian units as well as sustainable institutional development - and training of Georgian troops ahead of their rotational deployment to NATO's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.