A delegation of the Italian Defence Forces headed by the Chief of the International Relations Service of the Italian Defense Staff, Brigadier General David Morpurgo is paying visit to Georgia.
The representatives of the Department of International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration of the MoD of Georgia and the General Staff of the Defence Forces hosted the members of the Italian delegation at the Ministry of Defence. During the meeting, the sides discussed bilateral cooperation issues in the field of defence and the future plans of partnership.
The Georgian side thanked the Italian delegation members for Italy's support of Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations. The topics highlighted during the meeting included security in the region and transformation of GDF aimed at enhancing the national defensive capabilities and interoperability with NATO.
The discussions also focused on the successful implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP), the contribution of Italy to the development of SNGP initiatives - the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) and the Defence Institution Building School (DIBS). Cooperation between the Military Police of GDF and the Italian Carabinieri Corps, including in the field of education were also reviewed.
At the end of the meeting, a bilateral cooperation plan for 2021 was signed between the Ministries of Defence of Italy and Georgia, which will set out the cooperation areas for the current year. Shalva Kvinikhidze, Head of the Department of International Relations and Euro-Atlantic Integration of MoD of Georgia and Brigadier General David Morpurgo, Head of the International Relations Service of the Italian Defense Staff signed the document.
Statement of the MOD Georgia
The representatives of Jewish enterprise and Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze signed a mutual cooperation agreement on Wednesday to produce M4 carbines at the State Military Scientific-Technical Center DELTA area by the end of 2021.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the weapons made in the enterprise will be handed over to the Defense Forces. Also, product export is planned.
A new Georgian-Jewish enterprise will launch at the State Military Scientific-Technical Center DELTA area to produce M4 carbines by the end of 2021, Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze briefed MPs within the ministerial hour on Thursday.
Moreover, Georgia has active talks with South African and Polish companies to set up a joint venture for small and large unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) at Delta, Minister stressed. The agreement will be signed this year, and UAV production will kick off in 2022.
Burchuladze added that Georgia would also secure an additional batch of Javelin Missiles from the US.
“It is critical to strengthen the defence capabilities, especially via the introduction of modern, NATO-standard weapons to maintain and greatly enhance the readiness of the defence forces,” the minister underscored.
An attack was conducted on a combined motorized patrol in the vicinity of the Bagram Air Base, in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As a result, Soldier of the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade who served in the “Resolute Support” mission, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili (23.10.1991) was killed in Action. Junior Sergeant Bebiashvili served in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2010. He participated in the ISAF mission in 2012 and 2014. He has received medal for “Participating in Peacekeeping Operations”.
Three Georgian servicemen were wounded in an attack. The health condition of Captain Mikheil Gvirjishvili is stable but critical; the wounds of two other servicemen, Senior Lieutenant Giga Khakhutashvili and Corporal Gela Kharshiladze are not considered life threatening. All three of them are receiving treatment at Bagram Air Base Hospital.
The Ministry of Defence of Georgia expresses deepest condolences to the family of fallen peacekeeper, Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili.
The Defence Minister of Georgia Levan Izoria expresses deepest condolences over the death of the Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
“I express my deepest condolences over the death of the Junior Sergeant Mdinari Bebiashvili who served in 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade. The Junior Sergeant and his platoon was on patrol with the American and local military forces when two suicide bombers carried out a terrorist act. Three Georgian servicemen were wounded in an attack. The wounds of two servicemen are not considered life threatening, and the condition of the third military serviceman is stable but critical, but everything is done in the hospital to improve its condition. In this very difficult period of time, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of our fallen comrade”, - said Defence Minister.
The US Ambassador to Georgia H.E. Ian Kelly has also expressed his condolences over the death of the Georgian servicemen. During his telephone conversation with the Defence Minister, Ambassador said that he expresses deepest condolences over the incident to the Georgian Armed Forces and the family members of the fallen soldier.
Today, within an official visit to Germany, the Minister Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria met his German counterpart Ursula von der Leyen and discussed the aspects of bilateral cooperation in the field of defence.
After the introduction to the transformation process in the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, German minister gave a promise of support to the ongoing military reforms. In his address, Levan Izoria emphasized Georgia’s commitment to its obligations to NATO and reaffirmed the participation of Georgian peacekeeping forces in the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.
The meeting involved discussions on Georgia-NATO relations. Levan Izoria expressed gratitude to Germany for its contribution in the implementation of Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) and underlined its initiatives – Defence Institutional Building School (DIB) and Joint Train and Evaluation Center (JTEC) as the examples of successful cooperation. Minister also noted the declaration of the year 2017 as Georgia-Germany Year, which involves number of important events aimed to strengthen the ties between Georgian and German people.
Later, Levan Izoria held meeting with the Under-Secretary for Foreign and Security Policy Christoph Heusgen at German Chancellery and discussed the dynamics of Georgian-German cooperation.
Within the visit to Germany, the members of Georgian delegation visited Magdeburg Combat Readiness Center, where they attended pre-deployment training exercise demonstration by Georgian servicemen, who are preparing for participation in the Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.
The Government of Georgia made a decision to establish Air Forces Command that will bring together the aviation and air defence components. As Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli declared the Air Forces Commander will be appointed in the nearest future.
“Very important reformation and transformation process is underway at the Ministry of Defence of Georgia. After the consultation and with the consent of the National Security Council, we implemented the first stage of these reforms and created two – East and West Commands. The next step is aviation and air defence reform. After several months of talks, discussions and detailed negotiations with the General Staff the Government of Georgia approved the relevant amendment about establishment of a new command. By the end of the week we’ll nominate a new Air Forces Commander. I do hope that the Command will be formed by the end of June. This is a very important process as Air Defence is one of the priorities for our country and we have tools to realize this with the help of real and practical mechanisms. The Georgian-French contract is in active phase, air defence and aviation are one of the priorities in the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. It is very important to accomplish these reforms before the Warsaw Summit prior to new decisions and tools will be taken with regard to Georgia. This is very important to meet new challenges with ready and completed command and our expectations are very positive,” Tinatin Khidasheli said.
The course will come to an end on May 8. Within