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Georgia, Britain to hold joint military drills in September

TBILISI, August 6 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia and the U.K. will hold joint military training exercises in September at the Vaziani base near the Georgian capital Tbilisi, the South Caucasus country's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

During the two-week exercise, dubbed Georgian Express 2008, Georgian and British military personnel will practice interoperability in peacekeeping operations, including patrolling, urban warfare and base security operations.

The Special Operations Brigade and the 43th battalion of the 4th Infantry Brigade will represent Georgia, while the U.K will send 180 servicemen from the London Regiment.

After the training course, 59 servicemen from Georgia's Special Operations Brigade will be deployed in Afghanistan and the 4th Infantry Brigade in Iraq to replace the 1st Infantry Brigade as part of U.S.-led coalition contingents in both countries, respectively.

Georgian Express 2008 will take place under a bilateral military cooperation agreement signed in 2004.

Georgia and Britain held similar exercises twice before - in 2004 and 2007.

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