Defence Minister Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky - Photo: MTI

Defence Minister: Georgia ‘strategic partner’

Georgia is a strategic partner of Hungary, the defence minister said in Tbilisi on Monday, adding that the two countries would continue to work on deepening their relations.

Georgia plays an important role in the South Caucasus, a key region for Hungary, Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky said after talks with Juansher Burchuladze, his Georgian counterpart, according to a ministry statement.

The minister praised bilateral defence relations as “excellent”, saying he and Burchuladze had discussed strengthening it even further.

Hungary is involved in the preparation of Georgian officers bound for NATO missions, including the training of helicopter pilots, Szalay-Bobrovniczky said, adding that he and his Georgian counterpart had also discussed opportunities for cooperation in the defence industry.

He noted that Hungary was a committed supporter of Georgia’s aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration.

Hungary is convinced that Georgia is ready to be granted candidate member status and to take its rightful place in the international alliance system, the minister said. He noted Hungary’s role in the NATO-Georgia cooperation aimed at boosting the Georgian military’s capabilities and effectiveness and its presence in the European Union’s monitoring mission in Georgia.

According to the statement, Szalay-Bobrovniczky inaugurated a monument to the Hungarian soldiers who fell on Georgia’s territory during the second world war. The minister thanked Georgia’s government for supporting the monument.

Szalay-Bobrovniczky also met Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili during his visit.

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