The FINANCIAL — A meeting of the Security and Defense Working Group under the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission was held in Washington, on 20 July 2016. The meeting, from the Georgian side, was co-chaired by First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani and councilor to the Defence Minister Shota Gvineria, and from the U.S. side – by Deputy Assistant Secretary of state Bill Monahan and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter. Georgian Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli opened the meeting, which points to the particular importance of strategic partnership between Georgia and the U.S.
The sides paid special attention to the Memorandum of deepening partnership in the areas of defence and security signed during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Georgia, which is highly important in terms of strengthening both: Georgia’s defence capabilities and the level of security in the region. The U.S. side highly appreciated the progress Georgia has made in the process of reforming the defence system and reaffirmed its firm support for Georgia’s membership of NATO. The sides also discussed a new programme of alertness of the Georgian armed forces, which the U.S. will start to implement in Georgia at the beginning of the next year, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
The sides also welcomed the progress towards additional practical co-operation made at the NATO Summit in Warsaw reaffirming their readiness to heighten the level of Black Sea security and underlined the role of Georgia as a special partner. The U.S. side expressed its gratitude for Georgia’s important contribution to the NATO operations in Afghanistan.
The Georgian delegation informed the U.S. side on the current security environment in Georgia and the region, including the ongoing developments in the occupied territories. The U.S. side reaffirmed an unequivocal support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and underlined the need to carry out duly and fundamental investigation of the murder committed in the village of Khurcha.
The two delegations underlined the role of the Gali and Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in settlement of the security issues along the occupation line
Discussions also focused on the relations between Georgia and the U.S. in the spheres of cyber security, fight against terrorism, protection of borders and maritime security, fight against drug abuse, reform of the law enforcement authorities and their needs, crisis management, etc.