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Georgia approves post-ISAF peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan

25 December 2014 13:02 (UTC+04:00)
Georgia approves post-ISAF peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

The Georgian parliament has ratified an agreement on the participation of the Georgian troops in a new NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan in 2015.

A battalion of 750 soldiers of the Georgian armed forces will take part in the mission under the US command. Meanwhile, one more squadron will be involved in the operations under the German command.

An intelligence team of the 4th mechanized brigade arrived in northern Afghanistan on December 22 to start new mission as a rapid-reaction force in the German Marmal military base in Mazar-e-Sharif city of Afghanistan.

Georgia will have a total of 750 soldiers involved in Resolute Support Mission to remain as the largest non-NATO contributor of foreign troops to Afghanistan.

The Georgian Armed Forces has taken on the control over the Afghanistan's biggest Bagram Air Base since November 1, 2014. The task of the military contingent is to ensure safety in the air base.

About 750 Georgian soldiers attend the International Security Assistance Force mission of NATO, which will end at the end of this year. The Georgian army has lost 29 servicemen in Afghanistan so far. Three Georgian peacekeepers were injured during the recent incident in Parwan province of Afghanistan when a kamikaze committed a terrorist explosion.

Georgia has been working with the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan since 2004. Active involvement in NATO peacekeeping operations is very important for Georgia given its strong aspiration for a membership at the alliance. NATO firmly supports the irreversible decision of the South Caucasus country in regard to the integration into the union. Several military drills and educational training being carried out jointly by NATO and Georgian armed forces are aimed to speed up Georgia's readiness for the membership at the world's strongest military alliance.

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