Saakashvili: the U.S. will help Georgia to protect its territory
Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili said that the U.S. will help Georgia to protect its territory on a visit to Afghanistan. "The U.S. not only help us in operation or in coordinating anti-terrorist activities, as before, but they also will help us to protect the territory of Georgia in the future" - said Saakashvili on Monday, February 20, at a meeting with Georgian troops in Helmand province.
He said that Russia has made every effort to ensure that Georgia did not have professional army, and "after the Second World War, the Soviet leadership decided to kill Georgian military traditions, because it did not trust the Georgians, being aware of the fact that they will not destroy the Georgian spirit, and sooner or later Georgians would desire independence."
Recovery "of this historic tradition," Saakashvili called "the most historic phenomena," which requires decades. The President said that Georgia was from zero to produce armored machines Lazika, or Didhori semi-automatic riffle. He said that by late spring there will be "well trained, equipped and armed with 100 thousand reservists" Army in Georgia.
Saakashvili's visit to Afghanistan lasted several hours. Together with the Georgian military he patrolled one of the areas.
Georgian troops serve in Afghanistan, as part of ISAF since August 6, 2009. 175 soldiers and officers are located in the Kabul area of responsibility in France, and the battalion in Helmand province as part of 749 persons in the U.S. area of responsibility.
In December the Parliament of Georgia approved sending to Afghanistan another infantry battalion numbering 750 persons. Thus, Georgia will have the largest party operations in Afghanistan among countries that are not NATO members.