U.S. backs Georgia bid to join NATO

May 2, 2013 at 9:25 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 2 (UPI) -- The United States supports Georgia as it works to establish a closer relationship with NATO, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Kerry met in Washington with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Kerry praised the role Georgia plays in providing the largest number of troops to the Afghan campaign of any non-NATO member.

Saakashvili said he wanted U.S. support for its bid to join the alliance, saying moving closer to the West was "crucial" for his country's survival.

"We are very supportive of Georgia's aspirations with respect to NATO and Europe," Kerry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap military maneuvers in the Black Sea in March. The drill coincided with a decision by the government of Georgia to refuse a draft non-aggression pact from Russian regarding the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia and Russian fought briefly in 2008 over the territories. Russia defended the drills as preparation for next year's Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

Kerry visited Georgia during the waning days of the 2008 conflict.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
China questions Americanism in SATs
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Ukrainian cargo plane crashes in Algeria killing seven
'Old Ironsides' sails across Boston Harbor before 3-year-rehab
Video: Free Syrian Army unleashes 'Hell Cannon' in fight against Assad
Trending News