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U.S., Georgia Pledge Mutual Assistance in Terrorism Fight

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2001 – U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze pledged mutual support in the fight against global terrorism at an Oct. 5 Pentagon news conference.

Shevardnadze was first taken to see the damaged sections of the Pentagon's west wall. Afterward, he attended a military honors ceremony and then entered the Defense Department's headquarters for a 45-minute meeting with Wolfowitz.

Wolfowitz called the meeting "very successful," adding that he and Shevardnadze "discussed the current status of U.S.- Georgia relations, and our security relationship and our efforts to strengthen that relationship."

Georgia was one of the first countries to offer its full and unconditional support to the United States in the fight against terrorism, Wolfowitz noted. He said the United States would be working with Georgia in the days and months ahead "in efforts to secure that country's borders and its population from terrorism."

Shevardnadze, one-time foreign minister of the former Soviet Union, noted that his talks with Wolfowitz were conducted "in the same spirit of good will and partnership" as his prior discussions with President Bush.

"Our two countries, together with friends, must join efforts to fight global terrorism," he said. The Georgian leader said that while he and Wolfowitz didn't necessarily discuss specific Georgian support, the use of his country's airspace was a possibility.

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Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Media Availability with President of Georgia, Oct. 5, 2001

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