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French warship visits Georgian Black Sea port

BATUMI, Georgia - Agence France-Presse | 7/8/2010 12:00:00 AM |

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

A French warship arrived at Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi on 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 said.

Russia, which fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 over Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, has criticized 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 Mikhail Saakashvili came to power after the pro-Western Rose Revolution in 2003.

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