Minister of Defence of Georgia talked about the visit of the U.S. Senator John McCain in Georgia with media representatives at the final 2016 conference.
According to Levan Izoria, Senator McCain`s visit is the indication of the United States` attitude towards Georgia. “The New Year is always associated with positive ideas and initiatives. John McCain`s arrival in Georgia is the reflection of the strategic partnership with the U.S. establishment. He is the person who, during 2008 military conflict, declared to the world that they all were Georgians. The U.S support towards Georgia will be intensified in future. To prove this, we can remember the memorandum concluded between the United States and Georgia on deepening defence and security cooperation. Approximately, a month ago we hosted a significant guest - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mr. Carpenter and signed a three year cooperation plan with him.
As Minister outlined, the United States has ambitious plans with regard to our country and next year Georgia will carry out them together with its strategic partner: “I would like to underline that the reforms implemented in defence sector create a solid foundation for what we are planning to do in cooperation with our partners. All the strategic decisions implemented in Defence Ministry, were adopted after the consultations and through the combined efforts with our allies and partners, including with NATO member nations. We will be able to introduce our plans to Senator McCain as well. I am sure his personal engagement will be another important guarantee for strengthening U.S-Georgia relations”.
Levan Izoria also underlined the financial support the United States is providing to Georgian Armed Forces. “We have very positive expectations. The U.S. is also providing financial assistance to separate countries including Georgia under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) program. Only in 2017, the amount of financial resources mobilized by FMF amounted to 48 million USD. Within the 3 year plan, 20 million USD is envisaged per year. The FMF resources along with our budget funds will provide a good opportunity for the modernization of the GAF, for more training and better infrastructure. The above said support will allow us to improve our combat readiness compared to previous years”.