US General checks Georgia’s armed forces

General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is paying visit to Georgia. The main aim of the visit was to check the conditions of Georgian armed forces after the war in South Ossetia.

Gen. Cartwright, who is the second highest ranking military officer of the United States, met with President Saakashvili and Defense Minister, Davit Sikharulidze. He traveled to the town of Gori and visited the Gori-based first infantry brigade and the first artillery brigade.

Georgia's president vowed to rebuild his army after last year's war with Russia.

Saakashvili told Cartwright Monday that Georgia's forces have been trained for peacekeeping operations.

He said that Georgia would continue building "modern, significantly higher quality, significantly stronger armed forces."

Washington has long provided economic and military support for Georgia including training its troops.

President Mikhail Saakashvili told journalists here on Monday that he had sent a letter to US President Barack Obama, informing him of Georgia's readiness to raise the level of this country's participation in the peacemaking operation in Afghanistan.

Saakashvili also said he had conveyed this information to James Cartwright, Vice-Chairam of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is currently in the Georgian capital, ITAR-TASS reports.

In the June of 2007, Georgia had filed an application with NATO, making a proposal to send its contingent to Afghanistan, considering that "to settle the situation in Afghanistan is one of the main issues for the whole world". That proposal had been approved at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April 2008. In February this year, Tbilisi had announced an intention to send about 100 servicemen to Afghanistan.

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Author`s name Alex Naumov