Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed regional security, the U.S.-Georgia defense relationship and other issues today during their meeting at the Defense Department’s headquarters, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement following their meeting.
During their Pentagon meeting, Mattis commended Izoria for Georgia’s ongoing commitment to defense reforms and to strengthening its armed forces capabilities through robust defense spending at 2.2 percent of its gross domestic product, White said.
U.S.-Georgian Security Partnership
White said Mattis also expressed his appreciation for Georgia’s steadfast devotion and commitment to serve alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan until the mission is complete.
Georgia is the largest non-NATO force contributor and per capita contributor to the mission in Afghanistan, and Georgia’s armed forces serve without caveat alongside U.S. forces, White said.
The leaders also reviewed ongoing U.S. security assistance to Georgia’s armed forces, including ongoing partnership to enhance combat readiness and institutional capacity via the Georgia Defense Readiness Program, White said.
White said Mattis also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continuing defense cooperation with Georgia, including through annual bilateral and multilateral exercises and training.