French warship visits Georgian Black Sea port

8th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A French warship arrived at Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi Thursday for exercises with Georgia's coast guard.

The anti-submarine frigate Jean de Vienne was welcomed at the port by a delegation of Georgian officials and will spend four days conducting joint training exercises.

"The visit sends our message of support to Georgia and highlights our commitment to regional security," French ambassador to Georgia Eric Fournier told AFP.

Russia, which fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 over Georgia's separatist provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, has criticised visits to the country by NATO warships as provocative.

Georgia has sought to build closer ties with the West and to join the NATO military alliance since President Mikheil Saakashvili came to power after the pro-Western Rose Revolution in 2003.

© 2010 AFP

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