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Georgian Defense Minister Visits NATO HQ
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Feb.'12 / 14:45

Georgia’s Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, is in Brussels where defense ministers from NATO members and 20 partner states are meeting on February 2-3 to discuss range of issues, including Afghanistan.

Akhalaia is expected to hold bilateral talks with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on the sideline of the defense ministerial meeting, Georgian MoD’s spokesperson, Salome Makharadze, told Civil.ge by phone from Brussels on February 2.

Georgia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Temur Yakobashvili, said after the meeting between U.S. and Georgian Presidents in Washington on January 30, that it had been agreed to hold consultations, including between Georgian Defense Minister and the U.S. Defense Secretary, on bringing cooperation over “Georgia’s self-defense capabilities to a new level”, which would help Georgia “to better defend” itself.

Georgia’s Deputy PM and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Giorgi Baramidze, said on February 1, that “time has come, when the U.S.-Georgia military cooperation is elevating in essence to a new stage.” He told Rustavi 2 TV, that this new level of cooperation included not only partnership in international operations, like in Afghanistan, but also “making more focus on Georgia’s self-defense.”

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