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Georgian Leaders on Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

Georgian leaders have reacted to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission’s planned withdrawal from Afghanistan by September. President Salome Zurabishvili on April 14 said the Georgian military demonstrated its ability to contribute to challenges of collective defense and security “with dignity and responsibility.”

“By fulfilling this difficult mission, Georgia has proven many times how great and important its role is for world peace and stability,” asserted the Georgian President, adding that the professionalism of Georgian servicepeople has “always deserved high praise from both NATO and partner countries.”

Noting that international troops will gradually be leaving Afghanistan, President Zurabishvili said it is essential that “a secure and peaceful environment, for which Georgia strived for with NATO and partner countries,” be maintained.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on his part said Georgian participation in the Resolute Support Mission is “essential to achieving our strategic goal of full NATO membership.”

Commending all Georgian troops who “made a worthy contribution to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process” through participating in the NATO-led mission, PM Garibashvili said it is “extremely important” for Georgia that “Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for terrorists.”

Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze also commented on the issue, noting that the Georgian Defense Forces “proved that it has reliable and highly professional military personnel at the international level.” He stressed that the Georgian Defense Forces “is always ready, and will be, to continue ensuring collective security with its partners.”

Georgia has been part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan since 2004, currently contributing about 860 servicemen. Georgian troops are stationed at the German army’s camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif, performing duties of quick reaction force, as well as at the Bagram Air Field in the Parwan province and in Kabul.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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