10 Feb 2023 12:58

Pentagon head reaffirms U.S. support for strengthening Georgia's defense potential

TBILISI. Feb 10 (Interfax) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has reaffirmed the United States' steadfast support for the strengthening of Georgia's deterrence and defense potential.

He made the statement on Twitter on Friday following a meeting with Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze in the Pentagon.

According to Austin, he also discussed "Georgia's ongoing defense reforms and security challenges facing Georgia and the South Caucasus" with the Georgian defense minister.

The meeting addressed bilateral strategic cooperation in defense and security, alongside global and regional challenges to security, the press service for the Georgian Defense Ministry said.

"The important role of Georgia in the Black Sea security architecture was highlighted," it said.

"Juansher Burchuladze thanked the United States for the crucial, strategic, successful and growing cooperation, which help bolster Georgia's defense capacity and national resilience," it said.

The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi said on Friday that Burchuladze's visit to the United States affirmed Washington's unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Defense and security cooperation is the cornerstone of the U.S.-Georgia strategic partnership. Secretary of Defense Austin warmly welcomed Minister Burchuladze at the Pentagon, where he reaffirmed our steadfast support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, discussed US support to the Georgian Defense Forces efforts to enhance defense and deterrence capacity, and reinforced our commitment to assist with Georgia's Euro-Atlantic future," the embassy said.