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U.S.-Georgian Military Drills Kick Off Near Tbilisi

Annual U.S.-Georgian military drills have started near Georgia's capital, Tbilisi.

Georgia's Defense Ministry says that 350 U.S. Marines from the Black Sea rotational force stationed in the Romanian city of Constance and 550 Georgian troops are taking part in the maneuvers -- dubbed Agile Spirit-2014 -- that started on June 9.

The drills "aim to deepen interaction between the armed forces of both countries [and] improve the skills of mutual assistance in peacekeeping operations," the Georgian Defense Ministry said.

The exercises, which are being attended by military observers from France, Turkey, and Romania, will last until June 19.

Georgia is holding the Agile Spirit exercises for the fourth time. The drills are part of military cooperation between Georgia and the United States.

Based on reporting by, Interfax, and ITAR-TASS