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France will send air-defence experts to Georgia

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 12
France will take a more active role in the Georgia-NATO substantial package and by sending its AA experts to Georgia in order empower its air-defence capabilities.

The decision came after the recent meeting of the Georgian and French Defence Ministers in Belgium, Brussels, within the Defence Ministerial of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

Georgia’s Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli stressed that it was a “very significant decision”, as France had not been represented among the 15 foreign countries that were instructed to support Georgia in the implementation of the NATO-Georgia substantial package which was granted to Georgia during the NATO Wales summit last year.

“Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Defence Minister of France, and I met each other this year in June, when Georgia and France signed an agreement on the purchase of air-defence weapons. We discussed then how we could make our relations deeper.

“Since the meeting, the French side discussed topics of cooperation and today announced this very important decision,” the Minister said.

The Minister stressed that Georgia could benefit from France’s “huge experience” in the air-defence field through their experts' involvement.

“On the other hand, from a political point of view, the cooperation will make our relations deeper,” Khidasheli said and announced that the French Defence Minister planned to visit Georgia at the beginning of next year.

“This trip will be one more political confirmation of the deepening of our relations,” Khidasheli added.