Meeting with Albanian Defence Minister
Thursday, June 12
Minister of Defence of the Republic of Albania pays an official visit to Georgia. Georgian Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania hosted his Albanian counterpart Mimi Kodheli.
An official welcoming ceremony was held in the Ministry of Defence. The military brass band of National Guard performed Albanian and Georgian state anthems.
After the ceremony the Defence Ministers of Georgia and Albania held their first official meeting. The sides discussed issues concerning launching bilateral interactions in the defence sphere between two countries. Irakli Alasania proposed that the guest sign the Agreement between the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Defence of Georgia on cooperation in the military field. As the Georgian defence minister outlined, the Georgian side is interested in experience sharing between military education institutions. At the meeting, Irakli Alasania offered his counterpart the slots for the Albanian military servicemen at the Sachkhere Mountain Training School to undergo international basic and intermediate summer and winter courses there.
The sides also talked about Georgia’s prospect for NATO membership. The Georgian Defence Minister highlighted the importance of signing the Associated Agreement for Georgia. Irakli Alasania delivered information to Mimi Kodheli about Georgia’s contribution to international missions. The sides referred to the regional security issues as well.
Irakli Alasania expressed his gratitude to the Albanian counterpart for supporting Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Following the meeting, the ministers presented gifts to each other and made comments for media representatives.
“Mrs. Mimi Kodheli is an active supporter for the bilateral cooperation between Georgia and Albania, as well as on the path of Georgia’s NATO full membership. Albania has already passed the way Georgia is in process now. Hence, we talked in details about the integration process and how to enhance the engagement of other countries in this process. Today with my counterpart, we agreed to elaborate Bilateral Cooperation Plan and sign the Agreement on the cooperation in the military field between Georgia and Albania.
I expressed my gratitude to the Republic of Albania for supporting Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Albanian Defence Minister openly expressed this support at the final NATO-Georgia Commission. Until September we will actively cooperate with Albania, as well as with other partners in order Georgia to make a logical step forward at upcoming NATO Summit.
At the meeting we also referred to regional security, new threats and challenges that both countries face in the region. We agreed to have an active and firm cooperation in this respect” – stated Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania.
“I am really honored and pleased to be here in Tbilisi, in a very ancient land and full of history. First of all, I’d like to express also my appreciation for Minister Alasania’s extraordinary efforts for the integration process of Georgia to EU and NATO. Few weeks ago I was in Vilnius, in Lithuania and I saw the Baltic reality in front of today’s challenges. Today I am here in Tbilisi to see the Caucasus perspective. I hope this visit will be the beginning of an intensive collaboration between our two countries. As one of the newest members of NATO, Albania has been NATO members since 2009, we are here to share our experience of how you to become a full NATO member. So I would like to express Albania’s support on your Euro-Atlantic aspiration. NATO was our common dream. Georgians deserve to leave this dream as we did it 5 years ago. Your contribution in NATO operations has been a clear sign of distinctive partnership. Your extraordinary contribution in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in Iraq and elsewhere is an example to be taken by many other countries as well. Georgia will soon become a full member of South Eastern Defence Ministers and you have our full support on that” – outlined Albanian Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli.
From the Defence Ministry Defence Minister of Albania Mimi Kodheli went to the Heroes’ Square and paid a tribute to the heroes fallen for Georgian territorial integrity. Defence Minister of Albania delivered a minute of silence to the memory of the Georgian heroes fallen in the fight for territorial integrity and international operations and laid a wreath at the Heroes’ Memorial.
Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, as well as the leadership of the MoD and General Staff attended the wreath laying ceremony as well.