TBILISI, March 18 (Itar-Tass) – Georgia will take part in the EU peacekeeping mission in Mali, Defence Minister Irakly Alasaniya said on Monday.
EU representatives asked Tbilisi “to discuss the problem of close cooperation in the field of security and defence within the EU peacekeeping operations”. “Georgia’s participation in this operation will give it big profit. This will be the first case of Georgia’s involvement in the operations under the EU auspices,” Alasaniya said.
Chairman of the parliament committee for foreign affairs Tedo Dzhaparidze, who is currently in Brussels, said, “An idea of Georgia’s participation was put forth by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. The oftener Georgia takes part in such operation the better will be.”
The EU Training Mission in Mali will be deployed till the end of March. The mandate of the Mission will not envision European servicemen’s participation in military operations. A decision to this effect was taken at the EU Council session in Brussels on January 18. The forward group arrived in Mali on February 8. Such countries as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia have been invited to involve in the military mission.