Civil.Ge — Georgian troops are and will be deployed in Afghanistan to serve Georgian “patriotic deed” and common cause, which Georgia shares with its western allies, President Saakashvili said on February 22.
He was speaking at Krtsanisi National Training center outside Tbilisi, where Georgian troops are undergoing training for deployment in Afghanistan. Saakashvili visited the venue together with visiting U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.
“I want to tell you that it will be a very difficult mission,” said Saakashvili, while sitting at a table in army canteen of the training center, with Holbrooke sitting next to him.
“Not only the fate of Afghanistan and coalition countries depends on the success of this operation, but resolving of many of our issues also depends on the success of our allies and friends.”
“Our soldiers, who are professionals, are participating in this operation voluntarily, knowing what is at stake; it’s not simply some general mission; this mission is about Georgian patriotic deed. We pin great hopes on them. We and their families worry about their safety. But we understand very well that we are engaged in this battle together [with allies] in order to accomplish our common cause without any retreat,” Saakashvili said.
“Georgia participated in the operations of this kind previously and as Mr. Holbrooke told me and as [head of U.S. Central Command] General [David] Petraeus also told me they were impressed by professionalism of the Georgian soldiers,” he said.
Georgia has deployed 175 servicemen in Afghanistan and in addition it plans to send a battalion this spring.