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Georgia: Military Agreement With U.S. Ratified

Tbilisi, 19 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Georgian parliament Wednesday ratified a military cooperation agreement with the United States which would help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The agreement, signed by the government in July, would ban any unauthorized transportation of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons via Georgia and would boost bilateral military cooperation.

Interfax said opposition members tried earlier Wednesday to block ratification of the agreement, arguing it would infringe upon Georgia's citizens' rights by giving U.S. servicemen full immunity on Georgian territory.

Georgian Defense Minister Guram Nikolishvili said ratification of the agreement would be an important step toward improving the army's equipment and carrying out military restructuring.