Georgia to Help NATO Combat Terrorism at Sea

NAPLES, Italy–(ENEWSPF)–28 April 2010.  Major General Zaza Gogava, Deputy Minister of Interior and Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) Border Police of the Republic of Georgia, and Vice Admiral Maurizio Gemignani, Commander of Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, signed today in Naples, Italy a Tactical Memorandum of Understanding (TMOU) for the contribution of Georgia to NATO’s anti-terrorism mission. The Ambassador of Georgia to Italy, Konstantine Gabashvili, witnessed the event.

Signature of the TMOU is an important step forward in NATO-Georgia cooperation as the agreement defines the modalities of Border Police of Georgia’s participation in Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR through the reciprocal exchange of information relevant to NATO’s anti-terrorism efforts in the Mediterranean.

“The involvement of partner nations in NATO’s anti-terrorism efforts certainly contributes to further deter possible terrorist intents. It also enhances mutual situational awareness, which is a vital tool to fight non-traditional maritime threats like those posed by terrorism.” Admiral Gemignani said. He was echoed by General Gogava: “The agreement signed today sets the foundation for the relationship between the Border Police of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia and NATO… The main challenge we have to face nowadays is the threat posed by global terrorism: Georgia is ready and prepared to do anything to contribute to fight this threat” he said.

Georgia and NATO concluded an Exchange of Letters on 26 March 2008 with the aim to enhance NATO-Georgia cooperation against terrorism and to develop interoperability between NATO and Georgia in an operational context.

The mission of Operation Active Endeavour is to conduct maritime operations to demonstrate NATO’s resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism in the Mediterranean. The achievements of the operation over more than eight years – during which over 100,000 merchant ships have been contacted – are highly impressive and constitute a significant deterrent to terrorist activity in the Mediterranean Sea.  The operation has also been an important catalyst for cooperation with non-NATO countries and has provided NATO and participating nations with opportunities to develop innovative ways to achieve better awareness of maritime traffic and develop tactics and procedures that are employed in other operational activities, including anti-piracy.