07:51 GMT +321 October 2019
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    Georgian soldiers stand in formation during the inauguration ceremony of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center at the Krtsanisi military training base, outside Tbilisi, on August 27, 2015

    Georgian PM Hopes Noble Partner 2017 Drills Will Bring Country Closer to NATO

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    The NATO multinational military exercise Noble Partner 2017, which kicked off in Georgia earlier on Sunday, will provide security and stability in the country and contribute to its integration in the Alliance, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on Sunday.

    TBILISI (Sputnik) — This is the third time Noble Partner drills are held in Georgia. Apart from Georgia, servicemen from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States will take part in the exercise, which will conclude on August 12.

    "I am convinced that the exercise will raise the competence of our army, make it stronger, more capable and compatible with our strategic and international partners, and will guarantee peace, security and stability to our country," Kvirikashvili said during the opening ceremony of the drills.

    The exercise will give Georgian forces a unique opportunity to learn from experience of other countries, the prime minister added.

    Kvirikashvili pointed out that his country "deeply treasures support from the United States and NATO that stand by Georgia in the process of building democracy and of transforming into a stable country with trained armed forces that can provide security in the state."

    Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze also present at the opening ceremony noted the importance of the annual Noble Partner drills, adding that they contribute to Georgia's integration in NATO.

    Georgia is not a NATO member but has long been seeking membership and cooperation with the Alliance. In May, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly held a plenary session held in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and adopted a declaration of support of Georgia's NATO integration.

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    drills, NATO, Georgy Kvirikashvili, Ukraine, Georgia
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