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The United States has promised to help Georgia restore its armed forces and obtain new military hardware after the ex-Soviet republic's war with Russia last year, a top US general said while visiting Tbilisi on Monday.
"The United States remains committed ... to providing training and other assistance to the Georgian military in support of their reform efforts," the vice chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, General James Cartwright, was quoted by AFP as saying at a joint press conference with President Mikhail Saakashvili.
"We will start on the training, that is the core and the foundation of the activity," he said. "We will work hard to get both the skill levels that are necessary ... and work as partners on the equipment necessary."
Saakashvili said Georgia was committed to rebuilding its military amid continued tensions with Russia.
"In conditions where 20 percent of the country is occupied, when risk is high and provocations continue, when the situation in the region is difficult, Georgia will continue creating a modern, high-level, much stronger armed forces, increasing personnel and armaments, and most importantly increasing the level of preparation and defense," he said.
US military planners are working with Georgia to revamp its military and redesign its military strategy following its defeat during last year's brief war with Russia over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, AFP added.
Russia has repeatedly criticized significant US military assistance to Georgia, straining relations between Washington and Moscow.
Russia sent troops and tanks deep into Georgia last August in response to a Georgian military attempt to retake South Ossetia, which broke away from Tbilisi's control in the early 1990s and had received extensive backing from Moscow for years.