Georgia is hosting the South-East Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) for the first time on October 11 in Batumi.
In his opening remarks, Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria said that the SEDM platform provided “unique opportunity for deepening regional cooperation and strengthening defense capabilities in response to modern security threats” that affect the Black Sea and South-East Europe region.
In a statement for the journalists Izoria noted that the SEDM platform “is the best opportunity for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country to be given firm support once again.”
SEDM was launched at the meeting of South-East Europe’s defense ministers in Tirana, Albania in 1996. The purpose of the initiative is to promote regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, strengthen regional defense capabilities, and facilitate integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Georgia applied for SEDM membership in 2013 and joined the platform in September 2015. Other members include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States, with Moldova being an observer nation.