The number two ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, Jon Kyl, accompanied by three other Republican senators, met with Georgian leadership in Tbilisi on April 18.
The visit by the group of senators, which also includes Mike Crapo, Ron Johnson and Jeff Sessions, is part of their five-country trip also involving Ukraine and three Baltic states.
Sen. Kyl said after meeting with Secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Giga Bokeria, that their visit aimed at showing support for Georgia and learning how to better support this “important country in an important region.”
Asked if recent calls by several Republican Senators to consider Georgia as an alternative site for placing NATO missile defense system-related radar were discussed during the talks with the Georgian officials, Sen. Kyl responded that it was discussed “briefly.”
“The United States considers Georgia a real partner and we look forward to that partnership in economic matters, in political matters, in military matters…So, yes, that was discussed,” he said.
In a February letter to the U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Jon Kyl and three other Republican Senators said “Georgia's geographic location would make it an ideal site for missile defense radar.”
Secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Giga Bokeria, said that Georgia was ready “to be the U.S.’s partner in any issue which will help our joint efforts directed towards the strengthening of international security.”
“[The meeting] concerned a whole set of these issues and we have discussed them,” Bokeria told journalists after the meeting.