Within an official visit to Georgia, Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania hosted his Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas at the Ministry of Defence. An official welcoming ceremony was held in the Ministry of Defence. The Mod military brass band performed Lithuanian and Georgian state anthems.
Defence Minister of Georgia Meets Lithuanian Counterpart
Thursday, October 9
At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Irakli Alasania stressed significance of Lithuania`s support in implementation of the Substantial Package granted to Georgia at the NATO Summit in Wales. Georgian Defence Minister highlighted that Georgia achieved greater level of NATO interoperability. Hence, NATO called Georgia to export defence reforms.
The Georgian Minister of Defence also overviewed the main achievements through defence transformation process. He focused on joining the NATO BI program, institutionalization of reforms in the armed forces, transition to pay by rank system, de-politicization of armed forces, and improvement of social conditions for each soldier and infrastructure developments.
The sides discussed bilateral cooperation issues in defence sphere and defined future plans. The sides stressed on deepening relations in the field of education and reserve system. Regional security issues were outlined at the meeting as well. Irakli Alasania delivered information to his Lithuanian counterpart on Georgian military contingents’ participation in NATO and EU led international missions in Afghanistan and CAR.
Minister Irakli Alasania expressed gratitude to his Lithuanian counterpart for the support of Georgia’s aspirations towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. He emphasized importance of sending Lithuanian monitors in EUMM and supporting NATO Trust Fund project “Georgia IV” as a lead nation.
First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of GAF, Brigadier General Vladimir Chachibaia, Deputy Minister of Defence Mikheil Darchiashvili, Lithuanian delegation members and other leading officials of the Mod attended the meeting.
Following the meeting, Lithuanian and Georgian ministers of defence made comments for the media representatives. „Today’s official visit of Minister of National Defence of Lithuania in Georgia is another demonstration of the need to enhance bilateral military cooperation between Georgia and Lithuania. Besides that NATO and its member nations, together with Georgia, plan to conduct joint military trainings more frequently and to deepen bilateral military and military-technical partnership. Today, we have discussed the current security situation in the region, the threats posed by our countries especially in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis where the Russian forces carried out a military aggression. We have also discussed counter-terrorist and other kind of threats faced by Georgia and Lithuania and defined how to interact in this regard. Today`s meeting and discussions that will be held with Georgian leaders testifies to the great friendship between Georgia and Lithuania. I confirm Georgia`s readiness to further develop bilateral military cooperation with Lithuania“, stated Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania.
Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas also made statements about the bilateral meeting with his Georgian counterpart: “Thank you dear Irakli. I am pleased to visit Georgia. Since 2008 a lot of has changed since significant progress in Georgia and the most important things that changed are irreversible. During our bilateral meeting with my Georgian colleague Irakli Alasania, we discussed issues of mutual interests, such as regional security, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, defence reform progress and participation in the international operations. I reassured my colleague that Lithuania remains committed to support Georgia’s NATO aspiration, continue support in the area of military training and education, defence capacity building. I said to Georgian Defence Minister for tremendous Georgian contribution to ISAF operation in Afghanistan and commitments to participate in Resolute Support Mission, to participate in NRF and Connected Force Initiative. I highly appreciate Georgia’s contribution in EU-led mission. At the same time I recommended Georgian Defence Minister to continue all the reforms to advance in preparation for the inevitable to achieve for the NATO. I am sure that after Wales Summit those decisions are very important to implement them. NATO member states will support Georgia to increase capacity for defence. I am glad to state that we continue support Georgia towards EU and NATO integration. I believe that Georgian and Lithuanian bilateral relations continue development very productively and wish Georgia all the best”.