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Georgia may join EU peacekeeping missions: diplomat

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Georgia is considering taking part in a European Union-led peacekeeping missions abroad, the deputy foreign minister of the pro-Western ex-Soviet republic said on Monday.

"Georgia is considering participation in peacekeeping operations under the aegis of the European Union," Georgia's deputy foreign minister, David Zalkaliani, told journalists.

"It's about providing (military) experts and advisers, not about sending combat personnel," he said adding that more details would be released later.

Georgia has long sought membership of the European Union and NATO and now has 1,570 troops serving in Afghanistan along with the NATO-led forces.

That makes the small Caucasus country of 4.5 million the largest non-NATO contributor to the International Security Assistance Force.

Tbilisi's ambitions to join the EU and NATO have infuriated neighbour Russia, which fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 and sees any further NATO expansion into the former Soviet Union as a threat to its security.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130318/georgia-may-join-eu-peacekeeping-missions-diplomat