NATO Military Committee visits Georgia
From 8 to 10 November 2023, the NATO Military Committee was in Georgia for a series of high-level engagements, including a visit of the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre. The NATO Military Representatives and Invitee Sweden also held a special Military Committee meeting with Georgian military counterparts, to discuss the ongoing security situation in and around Georgia, the implementation of Georgia’s defence reforms and the NATO-Georgia military cooperation. Additionally, its Chair, Admiral Rob Bauer met with the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, H.E. Salva Papuashvili, Minister of Defence Juansher Burchuladze and Chief of Defence, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili.
Upon their arrival, the NATO Military Representatives headed to the Heroes Square – erected in memory of the lost heroes in the war against the Soviet Army and in operations in Abkhazia – for a wreath laying ceremony presided over by the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer and the Georgian Chief of Defence, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili. Admiral Bauer then met with Minister Juansher Burchuladze to discuss the ongoing implementation of Georgia’s security and defence reforms within the context of its Annual National Programme – and regional security issues, with a focus on the Black Sea.
On Thursday morning, the NATO Military Committee visited the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, where they received briefings on the centre’s role and responsibilities, training capabilities and opportunities available to NATO and Partner Nations. During the tour of the facility, Admiral Bauer noted the important role the centre plays in hosting live and simulated training exercises, in certifying military units from Allied and partner countries, and building interoperability between NATO and Partner Armed Forces. While observing the interagency military EXERCISE DIDGORI 2023, Admiral Bauer acknowledged the professionalism and dedication of Georgian troops. , The exercise demonstrates their abilities and expertise as well as their readiness and ability to respond to any threat or challenge.
Admiral Bauer also met with the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, H.E. Salva Papuashvili and commended him for Georgia’s steadfast contributions to NATO. “We are grateful to have the outstanding support of the Georgian Armed Forces, especially through the first deployment of members of the Georgian Coast Guard to our Operation Sea Guardian and your increased participation in the NATO Response Force. Through almost 30 years of friendship, we have built a mutually beneficial cooperation that has both enriched and solidified our partnership. By working alongside our troops have managed to become more interoperable than ever before”, emphasised the Chair.
The afternoon saw the NATO Military Committee convene a special meeting in Georgia Format to discuss the ongoing security situation in and around Georgia, the implementation of Georgia’s defence reforms and the NATO-Georgia military cooperation. Chairing the meeting, Admiral Bauer underscored the long-standing partnership between NATO and Georgia. “Georgia is one of NATO’s closest partners and a key partner in the Black Sea region. This was reflected in the enhanced Substantial NATO-Georgia Package endorsed at the Madrid Summit. Reaffirmed in the Vilnius Summit Communiqué and in NATO’s new Strategic Concept. This is also echoed by our presence in Georgia, which sends a clear message: NATO’s partnership with Georgia is important to us. It is enduring and stronger than ever”, he concluded.