US Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosted Georgian Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli at the Pentagon to discuss regional security issues and the U.S.-Georgia defense relationship, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a statement summarizing Tuesday’s meeting, Cook noted it was the first time the two defense leaders had met.
“Secretary Carter commended Minister Khidasheli for Georgia’s ongoing commitment to Afghanistan as the second-largest overall troop contributor to the NATO Resolute Support Mission,” Cook said in his statement. “Secretary Carter also emphasized that the United States, together with our allies, remain committed to supporting Georgia through the NATO-Georgia Commission and the Substantial NATO-Georgia package agreed at the 2014 Wales Summit.”
The leaders reviewed ongoing U.S. security assistance to Georgia’s armed forces, Cook said, including plans for the $20 million in additional funding in 2015 through the European Reassurance Initiative.
“Secretary Carter also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continuing defense cooperation with Georgia, including through annual bilateral and multilateral exercises and training,” the press secretary added.