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Georgian army is eager to get to Afghanistan2009-06-05 09:59
The Georgian political elite keeps trying to push the country into NATO. The leaders took a decision to send peacekeeping force to Afghanistan this year. This was reported on May, 3 by Minister of Defense of Georgia David Sikharulidze. Such handsome gesture was received favourably; still, does the alliance need a troublesome partner?
"Our squadron is going to participate in the peace-support operation in Afghanistan under the guidance of NATO as part of the French force, - Rosbalt is quoting Sikharulidze. - Georgia is ready to carry out the transit function in order to support the operation".
Head of the Georgian Ministry of Defense has been traveling across the water for three days already. According to Izvestia, on June, 2, David Sikharulidze met with the former presidential candidate John McCain and the next day he met with the U.S.Senate representatives. By the way, McCain has underlined that the United States "should not abandon the democratic countries" and promised to support the Georgian interests in the Senate. Today, Sikharulidze is going to meet with Head of the Pentagon Robert Gates. It is notable that Sikharulidze did not say anything new to Washington. In February the Georgian Minister, during the meeting with heads of Defense Departments of the alliance member-countries, promised to send a squadron of soldiers to the international
troops and offered NATO the Georgian territory as a base for the military operation in Afghanistan. However, it looks like now Georgia is trying to make the alliance see the true value of this "act of good will".
So far, the North-Atlantic bloc has been treating the Georgian initiatives without any particular enthusiasm. In its turn, the official Tbilisi is trying its best to get into confidence of the powerful protector. So long as the deciding vote in the alliance is cast by the USA, the Georgian politicians are acting directly via Washington. Head of the republican parliament David Bakradze recently underlined that it is time for Georgia and the USA "to switch from their statements of support to definite steps and initiatives". "These definite steps and fields of cooperation are specified in the strategic partnership charter recently signed by the USA and Georgia, - Rosbalt is quoting. - Now it is time to make the charter work". Discussion of the charter clauses was the purpose of David Sikharulidze's visit to the American capital.
It is rather difficult to forecast the outcome of the visit paid by Head of the Georgian Ministry of Defense. However, Tbilisi should not count much upon Washington at the moment. The alliance is interested in mending relationship with Russia marred by Saakshvili's August military adventure.