TBILISI, November 19 (RIA Novosti) – The Georgian military will continue its assistance to Afghanistan’s security forces after the withdrawal of NATO troops from the war-torn Central Asian country in 2014, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said.
Alasania met on Saturday with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dr. Phillip Gordon, who was on a three-day visit to Georgia.
The pair discussed US-Georgian bilateral cooperation, Georgia’s prospects for NATO integration and its contribution to the ISAF international mission in Afghanistan.
Georgian peacekeepers will continue fulfiling Tbilisi's obligations under the ISAF mandate until the end of 2014 and render assistance to Afghan National Security Forces in the post-ISAF period, Alasania said.
Georgia, which is actively seeking NATO membership, joined the international U.S.-led coalition fighting the Afghan insurgency in August 2009.
More than 900 Georgian troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, including some 750 in Helmand Province and 175 in the capital, Kabul.
While other nations participating in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan have started pulling their troops out of the war-torn country, Georgia plans to almost double its military contingent there by the end of this year.
Eighteen Georgian soldiers have been killed in operations in Afghanistan.
All international combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with security duties to be carried out by the Afghan police and army.