Georgian Turkish Military Cooperation Develops

ANKARA (Armenpress)–The Head of Turkish Military Headquarters Hussein Kivrikoghlu is scheduled to arrive in Georgia. In Ankara–this visit is considered very important. On this occasion–the Turkish Zaman newspaper published an interview of Head of Georgian Military Headquarters Jonni Pirzkhalaishvili–where the latter mainly referred to Georgian-Turkish cooperation and issues on regional security. In his interview he considered Georgia as a very important country for settling conflicts in Caucasian region. He also informed that during the meeting with his Turkish counterpart–issues on Georgia-NATO relations–American soldiers–residing in Tbilisi–and Turkish aid to Georgia will be discussed.

Stating the importance of the visit–Pirzkhalaishvili said Hussein Kivrikoghlu will be decorated with the order of Glory. "He did his best for realization of very important programs and is our best friend. It is very important for us to decorate him with the highest order of our country," said the Georgian military official.

Georgian military official in his interview also referred to the American soldiers now residing in Tbilisi. He considered the statemen’s that "these are the American troops disposed in Georgia" as wrong and groundless. According to him–"they are American experts and their number may be increased."

Talking about Georgia-NATO relations–Pirzkhalaishvili said that "Russia–which condemned Georgia for its relations with NATO–at the present moment is establishing relations with that military structure."

Referring to relations between Georgia and Turkey–he stated that the relations "are developing from day to day." He expressed his satisfaction with the volume of aid provided to Georgia by Turkey. "Thanks to Turkish aid a number of programs has been realized since 1998," said Pirzkhalaishvili. He also informed that an agreement on the volume of aid to be provided to Georgia in 2002 is already signed.

He attached a great importance to the development of bilateral relations between the two countries in all spheres–particularly in sphere of military cooperation.

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