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NATO commander thanks Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 13

The NATO Military Commander in Afghanistan John Nicholson thanked Georgia for its commitment in international peacekeeping missions.

The Voice of America reports that Nicholson delivered his speech at the Senate Armed Forces Committee, wherein he stated the Taliban controls more territory now than in 2015.

He also said Russia started to intensively support the Taliban, as Moscow thinks former is against the so-called Islamic State.

“Russia tries to make the Taliban legitimate saying it is against the Islamic State whereas the Afghan government is not. This is not true. The government of Afghanistan is successful in terms of fighting against the IS,” the General stated.

Gen. Nicholson has thanked all America's allies, including Georgia, for their contributions. He then put emphasis on Georgia’s share in this direction as the small country Georgia had the biggest amount of soldiers among the alliance non-member countries.

Georgia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the Resolute Support mission, with 885 troops.

This mission was a follow-on task from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), to which Georgia contributed about 750 troops. Georgia joined the ISAF in 2004.

The Resolute Support mission is a NATO-led task consisting of about 12,000 personnel from NATO and partner countries. The mission operated from a central hub in Kabul at the Bagram Air Base, where the Georgian troops are stationed, as well as four other satellite camps. Currently, 14 partner countries, including Georgia, are contributing to the mission.

Following the completion of the ISAF mission at the end of 2014, the Resolute Support mission started on January 1 2015, to provide further training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces and institutions.

Since 2010, Georgia has lost 31 soldiers and 275 have been wounded during NATO peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan.