Georgia’s territorial integrity: “liberation” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from “Russian occupation”
Euro-Atlantic aspirations: Georgia joining NATO first, the European Union second (the sequence that all eleven nations that have joined both since the end of the Cold War proceeded through)
Georgian and American soldiers have been standing side-by-side for years: Georgia was the third-largest troop contributor for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; during Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia and war with Russia in 2008 the U.S. flew all 2,000 Georgian troops in Iraq on military transport planes back to Georgia to join in the war
Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani says that the visit of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Georgia next week is ‘historic’ and reaffirms America’s strong support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and the country’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
Zalkaliani said earlier today that the visit points to the ‘special attitude’ of the US to strategic partnership with Georgia, which is based on ‘common values, interests and goals.’
He stated that close Georgia-US cooperation in the defense field ‘plays a crucial role’ in bolstering Georgia’s compliance with NATO standards.
Georgia is the US’ loyal ally and partner in the region, supporting the country’s efforts to strengthen international peace and security. Georgian and American soldiers have been standing side-by-side for years, including in NATO [deployments],” Zalkaliani said.