On the 8th of September 2021, a multilateral ministerial meeting on Afghanistan took place in the format of a videoconferencing. The subject matter of the session was the situation in this country.
The Foreign Ministers of more than 20 countries as well as the high-level representatives of the UN, EC and NATO also attended the virtual talk initiated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Based on the main subject of the talks, the Foreign Ministers of the participating countries exchanged views on the current situation in Afghanistan and the efforts of the international community to expand cooperation on the Afghan track.
Turkmen side noted that, as the closest neighbor of Afghanistan, for Turkmenistan, the issue of stability and security in this country has its direct influence and significance, from a political, economic and humanitarian point of view.
The Turkmen side, speaking on the importance of creating new formats of partnership on Afghanistan, stressed the need to establish effective mechanisms of multilateral cooperation aimed at achieving peace and civil accord in this country, ensuring security and social stability, as well as the well-being of the Afghan people.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia started preparations for the elections as early as in April and sent invitations to all international observers - David Zalkaliani
According to the Georgian Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, the local self-government elections scheduled for 2 October will be monitored by international observation missions.
The Vice Prime Minister said that the Georgian government started preparations for the elections as early as in April. Formal invitations were sent to all international observer missions, including the OSCE/ODIHR EOM, as well as to all international organizations and partner countries. "Two invitations were sent, one in April, before the election date was announced, and the other – immediately after the election date was officially announced" - Zalkaliani added.
According to him, the leaders of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM are in Tbilisi and a meeting with them has already been held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "We help them address all organizational matters and provide them with all conditions for normal functioning, including amid the pandemic. The experience we gained from the previous elections also helps us in this" said the Foreign Minister.
The OSCE/ODIHR EOM will assign 350 short-term observers to monitor the election process in Georgia, “however, it is expected that the number of observers this time will be much higher than in previous elections, as the Foreign Ministry sent official invitations to the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, NATO and OSCE, as well as to various international organizations” – said the Minister.
“We’ll do our utmost to ensure that international observers do their work safely and in normal conditions” – added the Minister.
MFA of Georgia
International multinational military exercise Agile Spirit marks its jubilee. It is the 10th time Georgia hosts Agile Spirit. This year the most large-scale multinational military exercise will be held from July 26 through August 6. This is reported by the administration of the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.
Agile Spirit 2021 aims to enhance interoperability among the forces of NATO member and partner countries, to improve and strengthen operational capabilities during planning and execution of operations in real time within multinational environment, to improve cooperation in multinational readiness and security sphere. Agile Spirit 2021 promotes regional stability and security, as well as strengthens capabilities of Alliance member and partner countries to react to regional crises and challenges more effectively. That’s why the main message of the Agile Spirit 2021 is - “Strength through Partnership”.
The 10th Agile Spirit 2021 is distinctive and larger scale rather than the previous exercises:
For the first time Georgian-made armored vehicles Didgori Meomari and Didgori MedEvac will participate in the international multinational exercise.
The number of the countries participating in the exercise is large – this year 15 NATO member and partner countries are involved in it, including: Georgia, USA, UK, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Latvia, Estonia, Germany, Azerbaijan, Spain, Canada, Italy and Lithuania. More than 2500 military of 15 countries will take part in Agile Spirit 2021.
The training theatre is also large-scale, which will be expanded to five locations – II Infantry Brigade in Senaki, Sorta/Eki training area, Orpolo rifle range, Vaziani rifle range and Vaziani military aerodrome.
For the first time in the history of multinational exercises conducted in Georgia, a combined airborne operation with the participation of military from Georgia, USA, UK, Poland and UK will be held within Agile Spirit 2021.
One more novelty within the 10th Agile Spirit is the direction of Special Operation Forces. For the first time in the history of multinational exercises conducted in Georgia, Special Operation Forces from Georgia, USA, UK, Romania and Poland will perform combined operations in renovated and modernized Sorta training area.
The multinational military training is complex and its scenario includes command, staff and field trainings with airborne operations and live fire, as well as with the engagement of maneuver and combat support elements in defensive and offensive operations.
Georgian coast guard completed the final maritime training of the multinational exercise sea breeze 2021Friday, 16 July 2021 10:41
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 process of returning Georgian peacekeepers from Afghanistan continues. Another group of the Georgian troops deployed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan has returned to the homeland today. The representatives of the Western Command and III Infantry Brigade greeted the 32nd Light Infantry Battalion servicemen at the Tbilisi International Airport, congratulated them on their peaceful return to the motherland and thanked them for the successful accomplishment of the mission.
The 32nd Battalion personnel was fulfilling the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for six months under US command and its main task was protecting the security of the base.
The unit will fully return to Georgia in the near future. The Reinforced Company of III Infantry Brigade has already completed the RSM. The military unit was deployed in Mazar-i-sharif and was carrying out its duties under German command. Georgia has been involved in the ongoing peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan since 2004 and it is the largest per capita contributor among the non-Alliance countries. Georgian Defence Forces are leaving Afghanistan on a schedule agreed with NATO.
Press-release of the MOD Georgia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the NATO Summit conducted in Brussels on June 14, which resulted in the adoption of important decisions both in the context of Georgia's NATO integration, as well as NATO adaptation to new challenges.
It is important that the communiqué reiterates the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision that “Georgia will become a member of the Alliance” and that Georgia has all "practical tools to prepare for eventual membership."
We welcome the unequivocal and direct reiteration by the Allies that they support Georgia’s sovereign right to choose its foreign policy priorities and no third party can interfere in this process. It is noteworthy that Allies positively assess the progress made by aspirant Georgia in the implementation of reforms in different areas and emphasize Georgia's ability to make a significant contribution to the common Euro-Atlantic security.
It is of special importance for Georgia that the Allies give a proper assessment to Russia's destructive policy in the Black Sea region and express their readiness to further deepen cooperation with Georgia on Black Sea security. Georgia greatly appreciates the firm, consistent and effective support of the Allies to the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-recognition policy. Allies adequately assessed Russian Federation’s attempts to “forcibly separate” the two occupied regions from the rest of Georgia. Allies especially underlined the frequent cases of “borderization”, arbitrary detentions and harassment of Georgian citizens. We welcome the Alliance’s call on the Russian Federation to comply with the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement. Georgia also welcomes Allies' support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. For Georgia, as a future member of the Alliance, the Summit decisions aimed at strengthening NATO and at addressing modern security challenges, are of special importance. Georgia welcomes the Alliance's decision to update NATO strategic concept, which will be adopted at the NATO’s 2022 Summit. The new concept will be better suited for modern security challenges. It will reaffirm the Alliance's commitment to its core values and set out future directions of NATO's development. Georgia hopes that the issues related to Open Door policy will be adequately reflected in NATO’s new strategic concept and that the concept will take on board the recommendations related to the enlargement policy and Bucharest Summit decision contained in the document "NATO 2030-United for a New Era". Georgia hopes that a clear and concrete strategy of the Alliance on the Black Sea region will be a part of the new strategic concept of NATO. The Allies paid particular attention to the issue of support towards the rule-based international order. It was underlined that Russia, through its illegal actions, constitutes a threat to such an order through undermining the security, stability and democratic values of Allied and partner nations. Importantly the issue of Georgia was discussed under this agenda item as well. We welcome the Alliance's decisions to strengthen its deterrence and defense policy. Since 2014, NATO began to reinforce its south-eastern flank by increasing the readiness of the armed forces and deploying new battlegroups on its territory. It is in this context that NATO has been boosting its presence in the Black Sea region. It is noteworthy that at the Summit, the Allies agreed to improve NATO’s readiness, response and defense. The Georgian side welcomes this decision and hopes that NATO's engagement in the Black Sea region will further increase, which will be a significant deterrent factor and further strengthen security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Member States paid particular attention to strengthening resilience, which is crucial to the Alliance's three core objectives - collective defense, crisis management and cooperative security. Taking into consideration that destructive actors often use conventional and hybrid warfare methods to destabilize Allied and partner nations, Georgia welcomes the strengthening of the Alliance's capabilities in this area and deepening of cooperation with non-member countries in this regard. As an aspirant country Georgia especially values the transatlantic unity principle and the steps taken to strengthen this unity, which constituted one of the main objectives of the NATO 2021 Summit.
Georgian parliamentary political parties today will sign a joint statement in support of Georgia’s NATO integration ahead of the June 14 Brussels NATO Summit.
“We, the undersigned parliamentary political parties of Georgia: Guided by the national interests of Georgia and the Constitution of Georgia; Reaffirming the Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia on the Foreign Policy of Georgia adopted on December 29, 2020; Adhering to the principles of the rules-based international order; Adhering fully to the values on which the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is founded; Taking into account that the sustained commitment of NATO Member States to collective defense has ensured ‘Europe whole, free, and at peace’. Noting that the NATO Open Door policy has been a major contributing factor to the democratic transformation of Central and Eastern Europe; Taking into account the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit decision that Georgia will become a member of NATO; Noting that Georgia has all practical tools for NATO membership, continues to strengthen the country’s defense capabilities and progresses in achieving full interoperability with NATO; Taking into consideration that Georgia has demonstrated its commitment to being an important contributor to Euro-Atlantic security through participating in NATO peacekeeping missions and operations. Stand united in supporting Georgia’s NATO membership and declare the following:
- We unanimously reaffirm that NATO membership remains a vital national security interest of Georgia, enjoying broad consensual political and societal support.
- We express appreciation to the Alliance and its Member States for the essential political and practical support, which allows Georgia to boost its resilience and interoperability with the Alliance as well as to prepare Georgia for the membership in NATO.
- We call on NATO and its Member States to continue their close partnership with Georgia as it prepares to implement ambitious reforms jointly agreed by parliamentary political parties to complete democratic consolidation, as well as to provide more vigorous assistance and experience sharing in the fight against emerging and hybrid threats.
- We underline the importance of deepening cooperation on Black Sea security. The wider Black Sea security environment has significantly deteriorated in recent years, given that Russian activities threaten regional security and democracies in this region. Taking this into account, NATO’s engagement in the Black Sea as an essential deterring and stabilising factor, has acquired more significance than ever.
- We welcome the ambitious report NATO 2030: United for a New Era and express hope that the new Strategic Concept of the Alliance will properly reflect the report’s recommendations on the Open Door Policy as well as NATO’s vision regarding the Black Sea and its role in ensuring Euro-Atlantic security.
- We express our joint commitment to stronger NATO acting in defense of peace, democracy and prosperity of freedom-loving nations, including Georgia.
- We underscore the importance of moving forward with the political decision bringing Georgia closer to membership in the Alliance. Extending NATO membership to Georgia and other aspiring countries in Eastern Europe will reinforce security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area, deter potential aggressors and bring us closer to a ‘Europe that is whole, free, and at peace’.
- We believe that the upcoming NATO Brussels Summit provides an opportunity to register progress on Georgia’s NATO membership path. Since Georgia is not represented at the summit, we ask our NATO partners to take this joint statement of the parliamentary political parties as an explicit multi-party support towards Georgia’s NATO membership.
- We stand ready to use all available platforms, including international inter-parliamentary assemblies, to support deeper integration and eventual NATO membership of Georgia,” reads the statement.
The NATO 2030 initiative will be the main issue for discussion at the upcoming Summit of NATO leaders on June 14 in Brussels.
“The goal of our NATO 2030 initiative is to prepare our Alliance for the future. Over the past months, Allies have been consulting closely and constructively; we still have some work to do, but we all agree that we must take ambitious and forward-looking decisions to show transatlantic unity not just in words, but in deeds,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a virtual press conference on June 1.
Within the Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) port call to Georgia the NATO force conducted combined maritime trainings in the Black Sea with the Coast Guard Department under the MIA Border Police of Georgia.
SNMG2 ships - REGINA MARIA (Romania), KEMALREIS (Turkey) and SMELI (Bulgaria) conduct combined maritime exercise training with the Georgian Coast Guard vessels "Ochamchire" [P23] and "Dioskuria" [P25].
The aim of maritime exercises is to enhance interoperability and interaction between the Georgian and Allied forces.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this port visit is a visible demonstration of NATO’s continued commitment to Georgia. It is important that NATO port visits to Georgia's Black Sea ports are regular, which is one of the tangible results of NATO-Georgia cooperation in strengthening Black Sea security.
Joint training was held in full compliance with the recommendations of the Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Within the framework of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP), with the support of NATO Defense Georgia Capacity Building Trust Fund’s relevant project, NATO Support and Procurement Organization – NSPA, gifted 5 high traverse Renault vehicles to the Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC). The transfer of vehicles is aimed at developing the capacity of the center, increasing mobility, and improving the logistics component.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Defense of Georgia Zurab Azarashvili, Deputy Commander of the Defense Forces, Major General Zaza Chkhaidze, Deputy Head of the NATO Liaison Office Pirit Pikker and representatives of the NSPA.
The NATO side purchased various types of vehicles for JTEC on the basis of a grant agreement signed between NSPA and the Ministry of Defense of Georgia in 2017, the total cost of which is 1.2 million Euros.
In total, 20 vehicles were gifted to JTEC, which will significantly improve the Center’s transportation issues, which will increase the overall capacity for JTEC to operate efficiently. JTEC NATO Advisory Team was also actively involved in the project implementation.