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Saakashvili: 'We Need Anti-Air, Anti-Tank Arms from U.S.'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 31 Mar.'11 / 10:53

Some sales of small arms from the United States to Georgia are “in the pipeline”, but Georgia needs heavier weapons, President Saakashvili told “The Cable” – a blog of The Foreign Policy magazine, during his recent visit to the U.S.

“We don't' really need small arms, we have plenty of them and actually there are many alternative sources to shop for them,” he was quoted in an article posted on The Cable on March 30. “What Georgia really needs is something that it cannot get from anywhere else and that's anti-air and anti-tank [weapons] and that's completely obvious ... that's where should be the next stage of the cooperation.”

In September, 2010 U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, said Washington had been “careful” in providing military assistance to Georgia. He, however, also said “every sovereign country has the right to provide for its own defense.”

In June, 2010 Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, rejected that the U.S. had arms embargo on Georgia. He, however, said that Washington’s focus after the August war was on “reducing tensions” and trying to get Russian to follow its commitments under the ceasefire agreement and to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“We don’t think that arms sales and military equipment is the path to the situation in Georgia that we’re trying to get to,” Gordon said.

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