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Defence Minister's Visit to Spain

Thursday, March 27
Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania paid a three-day official visit to the Kingdom of Spain. The Georgian Defence Minister held the first official meeting with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Morenes Eulate at the Defence Ministry of Spain.

At the meeting Defence Ministers discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation in military, particularly in training and educational fields.

At the tete-a-tete meeting Defence Ministers spoke about Georgia’s integration to Euro-Atlantic structures and granting MAP at upcoming NATO Summit. Signing of the EU-Georgia Associated Agreement was also highlighted at the meeting. Georgia’s contribution to ISAF mission and participation in Resolute Support mission after 2014 were one of the main topics of the meeting. The sides also discussed Georgia’s engagement in NATO Response Forces in 2015. Irakli Alasania delivered information to his Spanish counterpart on deployment of a light infantry unit in the EUFOR RCA.

Defence Minister introduced Pedro Morenes Eulate the implemented and planned reforms in Georgian defence sphere. Irakli Alasania expressed gratitude for Spain’s consistent support of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and steadfast position on Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also focused on the importance of Spanish observers in EUMM. At the meeting the Ministers referred to the current situation in the Ukraine and regional security issues as well.

“During the official meeting with my Spanish counterpart, we spoke about bilateral cooperation issues between Georgia and Spain. We referred to the security environment in the region after the last aggression towards the Ukraine. We also outlined that Georgia’s integration to NATO should be speeded up. Spain will have a very firm position towards Georgia’s full integration to NATO,” outlined Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania.

Within the frames of the visit Irakli Alasania also met with the military experts of organization Ceseden and representatives of the diplomatic corps, research centers and governmental agencies at Elcano Royal Institute.

Irakli Alasania briefed the audience on implemented and current reforms and introduced the prospects of Georgia’s membership in Euro-Atlantic structures. “The meeting with the experts and diplomats at the “Elcano” Institute was very important as we discussed Georgia’s role in European security. In my opinion, we presented very strong arguments why Georgia’s integration in EU and NATO should be accelerated and how great is the future of European and Georgian relationship. I assume we had an absolute consensus that these relationship should be strengthened, reinforced and this is the only correct answer to the Russian aggression against the Ukraine,” declared the Georgian Defence Minister.

A delegation of the Defence Ministry of Georgia visited the Armor Tank Brigade and Air Base of the Spanish Armed Forces. Brigadier Generals Jose Conde de Arjona and Orlando Fernandez Jimenez hosted the members of the Georgian delegation at the military bases.

High-ranking Spanish military officers presented their units to the Georgian Defence Minister. The Spanish soldiers held demonstration trainings especially for the Georgian guests.

Later, Irakli Alasania viewed the infrastructure of the military bases and exhibited military equipment. “The Spanish side introduced how the Spanish Armed Forces operate, their air defense system and air forces. It was very interesting for us, as a future member country of NATO. It is very important us to get acquainted how the NATO member countries defend themselves separately and as part of collective defense. Hence, it was a very interesting day for me and for the Georgian Delegation,” declared Irakli Alasania.