Updated: 14-May-2002 NATO Speeches

9 June 2000


by Lt. Gen. David Tevzadze, Minister of Defense of Georgia The EAPC meeting in Defense Ministers session

Mr. Chairman,
Dear Colleagues,

I would like to share with you some information on the latest events regarding the ongoing reforms of the Georgian Armed Forces along western standards and modern national security issues in Georgia. Since our Armed forces developed during time of instability, with inherited equipment and infrastructure, obsolete doctrinal and a philosophical bias, there is a necessity of a profound changes. At present, in cooperation with the Western experts, we are working to reduce size and the structure of the our forces - from a larger to a much smaller and create more capable rapid reaction force, backed by reserve mobilisation force, improving the conditions of military service, increasing training and education aimed to enhance operational capabilities. We are especially grateful to NATO whose strong support is essential for the implementation of initiated reforms.

In this regard, Georgia intends to use its participation in PARP in order to bring its Armed Forces closer to NATO standards, which enables us to take part in NATO-led PfP operations. To promote interoperability we could use the mechanism of temporary assignments of partner personnel to NATO/Allied formation staffs and units.

We completely acknowledge the importance of increased consultations with Partners on Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo in accordance with the Political-Military Framework for NATO-led operations. Despite of problems we encounter while planning and implementing reforms in Armed Forces, Georgia managed to send small unit to Kosovo. We strongly believe that only joint action could prevent instability in different parts of the Euro-Atlantic space.

We welcome the progress which has been achieved since the Washington Summit in terms of enhanced and more operational Partnership. Therefore, we support relevant reports presented to us for endorsement.

Discussions within the EAPC on the enhancement of regional cooperation proceed positively. Particularly, I would like to mention the effectiveness of the Open-Ended EAPC Ad Hoc Working Group on the Caucasus. This week Tbilisi hosted one of the activities agreed by that Group. The success of the EAPC seminar on economic aspects of defense budgeting as well as the enhancement of regional cooperation is a good example how EAPC and PfP could be employed to support the countries with transitional economic.

In order to strengthen peace and security in the Caucasus the provisions of the OSCE Istanbul Summit Agreement on the withdrawal of foreign military bases from Georgia have to be fulfilled. During the negotiations with Russian colleagues the mutual understanding has been reached on this issue. Though, the effective cooperation of the EAPC community in the implementation of the above mentioned Agreement is essential.

Finally, regarding the conflict prevention, the discussions within the EAPC is a really good sign that the EAPC could be well employed in this field and I would urge my colleagues to keep an eye on this issue.

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