Liberman visits Georgia, signs defense cooperation agreements

Defense minister, first in his position to travel to eastern European nation, agrees to work with Tbilisi on counterterrorism, cybersecurity

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria attend an honor guard ceremony in Tbilisi, Georgia, on September 12, 2018. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman traveled to Georgia on Wednesday, signing agreements with the eastern European nation on counterterrorism and cybersecurity cooperation.

Liberman was the first acting Israeli defense minister to visit Georgia, with which Israel has had diplomatic relations since 1992.

“On the issue of defense cooperation, we have set out four main objectives: cybersecurity, help in establishing a military reserves system, fighting terror and defending the homeland,” Liberman said, following an honor guard in the nation’s capital, Tbilisi.

The defense minister also praised Israeli-Georgian economic ties and the former Soviet country’s “thriving Jewish community,” his office said.

Liberman and Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria also discussed Iran and the current situation in the Middle East. The two politicians signed an official cooperation agreement between their two ministries, Liberman’s office said.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria attend an honor guard ceremony in Tbilisi, Georgia, on September 12, 2018. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Israel and Georgia established diplomatic ties shortly after the latter declared independence from the former Soviet Union in 1992.

Israel supported Tbilisi during its 2008 war with Russia and Russia-backed troops over the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, saying it recognized the “territorial integrity of Georgia.”

Over the years, Israel has also sold a number of weapons systems to the eastern European nation and has also trained members of the Georgian armed forces in Israeli military tactics and strategy.

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