UPDATED 6:52 AM PT – Tuesday, October 19, 2021
The U.S. signed a bilateral defense agreement with Georgia in order to provide “security cooperation” between the nations.
On Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met with his Georgian counterpart to sign an initiative that will continue U.S. support to Georgian defense forces over the next six years. Dubbed the Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative, Austin said it represents a new phase between the two countries.
“We are going to build upon the Georgia Defense Readiness Program by continuing institutional reform in the defense sector, by strengthening the capabilities and the capacities required for effective deterrence and defense,” stated the U.S. official. “And by fostering interoperability with NATO.”
I’m honored to join Minister Burchuladze in signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the Georgia Defense and Deterrence Enhancement Initiative. This initiative marks a new phase of our bilateral security cooperation, and it demonstrates the U.S. commitment to supporting Georgia. pic.twitter.com/LSlOts33gw
— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) October 18, 2021
Additionally, Austin said as the initiative grows it will reportedly help both countries address “common goals” in the region.