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Georgia, US Announce New Stage of Defense Cooperation

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, November 29
(TBILISI)-- Georgia and the United States will move to intensify their cooperation in the defense and security sectors next year, Georgia’s Defense Minister, Levan Izoria, said after meeting with the US’ Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly.

“The Georgia-US relationship will move to an even higher level and further increase Georgia’s defense readiness and sustainability,” said Izoria.

According to Izoria, he and Kelly discussed the former’s recent visit to the US, where he met Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, National Security Advisor Ray McMaster and the chair of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senator Lindsey Graham.

“We will hold another meeting later this week with the American side to sum up this year’s cooperation and achievements. We will also set future plans for the transformation of Georgia’s Defense Ministry,” said Izoria.

Kelly labeled the meeting as “constructive” and saw further bilateral cooperation as the next natural step in the US-Georgian relationship.

“We’ve started setting up mutual plans for future cooperation and we are looking to intensify our interaction in the defense sphere over the next year,” Kelly noted.

Kelly and Izoria also discussed a possible $75 million sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles and command launch units.

The US Department of Defense’s Security Cooperation Agency said the proposed sale would “contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of Georgia.”

The Javelin, described as the world’s most lethal one-man-portable anti-armor weapon system, is widely used by the US’ Armed Forces.