Georgian Ambassador hails US defence ties as additional $33 mln aid announced

Georgia Materials 10 February 2023 16:20 (UTC +04:00)

Georgia’s United States Ambassador David Zalkaliani on Friday said his country’s defence and security ties with the US had reached an “all-time high”, in comments on the meeting between the top defence officials of the two countries in the Pentagon on Thursday that came together with an announcement of additional $33 million in security aid for Georgia, Trend reports with reference to Agenda.

The aid was announced by Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin following his meeting with Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze, with the American official saying his office had notified the Congress in January of its intent to fund security assistance for Georgia, as part of the Georgia Defence and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative, signed between the countries in 2021.

He also reaffirmed the US’ support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and praised the country’s contribution to international peace and security through its engagement in various foreign peace missions for years.

In his remarks for the media, Zalkaliani said the messages heard at the meeting had “confirmed the strategic partnership” in defence and security between the states had been “upgraded to an all-time high” under the current Georgian Government. The diplomat also said the meeting was expected to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

At a press briefing with the Georgian official, Austin also announced his office had approved Georgia for the risk-assessed payment schedule, leading to the country being able to request and acquire “vital military capabilities more easily”.

This announcement reflects the value that we place on our bilateral defence relationship and our partnership", Austin said.

For his part, Burchuladze hailed the country’s “strategic partnership” with the US as “essential for Georgia's defence, deterrence and peaceful and stable development”.