Tbilisi: Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia commenced his Working Visit to the 56th Munich Security Conference with a meeting organized with Mark Esper, US Secretary of Defense.
Successful bilateral cooperation in defense was underlined at the meeting, along with a significant support of the US in the implementation of a reform in the defense and security area.
Significance of capacity building in the defense system of Georgia was underlined, especially by taking into account the current challenges faced in the region.
It was noted that Security Cooperation Framework is a result of successful effort pursued jointly towards strategic partnership and security, along with Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GRDP), Combat Training Centre and institutional reforms implemented for advancing the defense capability of the country.
Head of Government of Georgia expressed gratitude to the US Defense Secretary for the significant financial support of Georgia towards defense, thereby noting that Government remains loyal to the endeavor to allocate 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to defense in line with NATO standards, while about 20% to the modernization of infrastructure and capacity building.
Parties discussed the development plan of the defense forces of Georgia in 2020-2030, which entails concrete steps for a long-term development of defense capabilities of the country. It was noted that reform will be continued in the defense area, which is implemented in line with a total defense approach and National Defense Strategy.
Head of Government of Georgia stressed the significant US support in the area of security. Focus was made on the Black Sea Security and cooperation with NATO. Significance of cooperation with US was also noted in the process of overcoming hybrid threats.
US Defense Secretary particularly noted the significant contribution of Georgia in the international peace-keeping missions, which are performing under the aegis of NATO and EU.
Meeting was also attended by David Zalkaliani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Defense of Georgia and Irakli Chikovani, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister of Georgia.