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Entry of major US ship forges Georgia-US ties

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 17
Georgia’s Prime Minister attended a festive reception aboard the USS Mount Whitney on Saturday, the US Navy 6th Fleet Command and Control ship that entered Georgia’s western coastal Batumi city on October 12.

"The entry of the USS Mount Whitney into Batumi port is of the utmost importance to our country. Besides promoting regional security and stability, the arrival of the American command ship into Georgia reaffirms our country's steadfast support from our strategic partner, the United States of America,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM added that the visit, “which was a result of bilateral cooperation with the US Navy,” seeks to enhance the naval capabilities of the regional partners of the US in order to ensure their security and stability.

“Black Sea security is an important component of Euro-Atlantic security. Activities of this type clearly exemplify NATO's attitude toward Georgia's engagement in the dialogue on the security in the Black Sea Region, and we are committed to deepening ties in this direction," Kvirikashvili said.

The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, also highlighted the importance of the temporal entry.

At the reception, the Ambassador was again asked about Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary elections.

Kelly said that despite several violations the elections expressed the will of the Georgian people.

The ship entered Georgian waters after sailing, training and operating in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

The ship’s operations in the Black Sea were aimed at enhancing maritime security, stability, readiness and strengthening partnerships with NATO's allies and partners, said the US Naval Forces webpage.

The US Naval webpage stated that the USS Mount Whitney's visit to Georgia provided sailors an opportunity to meet with their Georgian counterparts and strengthen bonds to enhance the existing partnership.

The USS Mount Whitney is regarded as one of the most modern communications ships in any Navy worldwide. It can transmit and receive large amounts of secure data to and from any point on earth and, consequently, is capable of providing the most timely intelligence and operational support available in the US Navy.

The ship, based in Gaeta, Italy, is conducting naval operations in the US 6th Fleet area of operations to support US national security interests in Europe.

The US 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full spectrum of naval operations, often together with allied, joint, and inter-agency partners, to advance US national interests as well as increasing security and stability in Europe and Africa.