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U.S. Embassy Hails Agreement on New Chief of Army Staff

06.12.2012
The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi said on Wednesday it was “encouraged” that at a time of “internal political tension” the government and the President “were able to reach agreement on a new Chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces.”

“Georgia's stability and prosperity depend on the ability of both sides to find compromises in the national interest.  As NATO foreign ministers gather in Brussels, we are encouraged by this development,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.

Colonel Irakli Dzneladze was named as new Chief of Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces on December 4.

According to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) the nomination of Col. Dzneladze was a result of the agreement with President Saakashvili.

Col. Dzneladze’s predecessor 32-year-old brigadier general Giorgi Kalandadze was suspended from office upon the court’s decision on November 11, about one month after President Saakashvili appointed him as army chief of staff shortly after the parliamentary elections. Brig. Gen. Kalandadze, who was released from police custody, faces criminal charges related to exceeding official powers into two separate cases and illegal confinement.

With twenty years of military service, Col. Dzneladze has most recently served as Georgia’s military attaché in Ukraine and prior that that he served in J3 operations planning and in the command of the land forces, according to MoD.

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