US Defense Secretary’s Visit to Georgia

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The United States Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III (left) and Georgia’s Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze (right).

Tbilisi, 19 October 2021 (TDI): On Monday, the United States Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III arrived in Georgia, where he held separate meetings with the country’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, and Defense Minister, Juansher Burchuladze, respectively.

The Georgian Prime Minister expressed great pleasure over his meeting with the US Defense Secretary and committed to strengthening the Washington-Tbilisi defense partnership. Meanwhile, Secretary Austin reassured Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili that the US would assist Georgia in advancing its Euro-Atlantic integration and building a credible defense capacity.

In addition, Secretary Austin signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze on the new ‘Georgia Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative.’ The agreement will serve as the center of US-Georgian security cooperation since the current Georgia Defense Readiness Program (GDRP) is set to conclude by the end of 2021.

During the Tbilisi tour, Lloyd Austin also visited the United States Special Operations Forces deployed in Georgia to enhance defense capacity-building efforts among the two nations. While attending a medical training event organized by the Forces, Austin expressed his gratitude towards the participants for their unprecedented services.

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