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Mattis: U.S. ‘Ready’ to Assist Georgian Defense Reforms

“I respect your nation’s steadfast commitment to our shared democratic values and I am humbled by the tremendous sacrifices Georgia has made with us on the battlefields of Afghanistan,” Unites States Defense Secretary James Mattis wrote in his letter addressed to Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria.

“Your country’s contributions in the name of global peace and security serve as an example of the power of values-based international partnerships,” the letter, published by Georgia’s Defense Ministry on May 20, also said.

“I appreciated listening to the clear and well-reasoned presentation on the progress of Georgia’s defense transformation efforts,” Mattis wrote, referring to the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting on February 16, where the two had a brief encounter.

“Change, although difficult, is a necessary element of your county’s aspiration to integrate with the west,” Mattis stated and added that the Department of Defense “stands ready to assist as Georgia embarks on this ambitious defense reform journey.” “I strongly urge you to stay true to the principle of your charted course.”

According to the Defense Secretary, “despite daunting security challenges, Georgia continues to help maintain stability in an otherwise uncertain world.” “I am honored to count on your nation as a strategic partner and I look forward to meeting with you again soon,” Mattis concluded.

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