Cosmetic Change Effected, NATO To Absorb Georgia
October 18, 2012
Ivanishvili: Georgia Passed Test, Now NATO Should Take Practical Steps
“I…want to recommit NATO to Georgia, the future of Georgia in NATO, our gratitude for the contribution in Afghanistan and I express my condolences and NATO’s condolences for the soldier, who lost his life, the eighteenth Georgian soldier; and also to Georgia’s territorial integrity. Georgia is a close partner to the alliance and aspirant to NATO membership and we will remain absolutely committed to this country.”
Tbilisi: With the democratic transfer of power based on parliamentary election results, Georgia has passed its test and now it’s up to NATO to take “practical steps” for Georgia’s accession to the Alliance, incoming PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said after meeting in his residence in Tbilisi with NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai.
“We have passed a very interesting test – elections; that served for NATO to determine our prospects [for NATO membership]; we have done it. I reminded [Appathurai] that we’ve done that and now they [NATO] on their part should take more principled and practical steps for Georgia to really become NATO member in the near future,” Ivanishvili said.
“I have assured [the NATO Secretary General’s special representative] that on our part, we will do everything possible in order to establish in Georgia genuinely democratic institutions that is necessary for NATO [membership].”
“We are proud that together with NATO member states we are participating in the Afghan operation,” Ivanishvili said.
“In parallel to that we will do everything possible in order to mend relations with our huge neighbor, Russia, and to restore our territorial integrity,” he added.
James Appathurai said after the meeting that he had “an excellent discussion” with the incoming PM.
“He has reiterated Georgia’s commitment to NATO, to membership in NATO and to participation in the mission in Afghanistan,” he said.
“I, from my part of course, has welcomed all of these, but also want to recommit NATO to Georgia, the future of Georgia in NATO, our gratitude for the contribution in Afghanistan and I express my condolences and NATO’s condolences for the soldier, who lost his life, the eighteenth Georgian soldier; and also to Georgia’s territorial integrity. Georgia is a close partner to the alliance and aspirant to NATO membership and we will remain absolutely committed to this country,” Appathurai added.
Speaking with journalists before his meeting with Ivanishvili, the NATO Secretary General’s special representative said that NATO-Russia and Georgian-Russian relations were “very complicated” issues.
“[T]he bottom line for NATO is only NATO countries decide on accession,” Appathurai said, adding that NATO had reiterated that multiple times, including on the highest level, that Bucharest summit decision, that Georgia will join the Alliance, stands.
October 18, 2012
Appathurai meets with Georgia`s FM, State Security Secretary
The NATO Secretary General`s Special Representative to Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai and Georgia`s Interim Foreign Minister held a face-to-face meeting at the foreign ministry today.
“I`d like to congratulate everyone on these elections. Who I`d like to congratulate is the government, that`s going out, the government that`s coming in and the Georgian people. This is a sign and a demonstration of Georgia becoming a normal country, normal country, where governments change thought the ballot box, where governments transition in a respectful way, respectful to each other and respectful of the law. That is a tribute to the people who came out to Georgian people, to the people, who are responsible for all these changes and also a result of the reforms that have taken place over so many years in this country. So I think everyone can be very proud of that. My message when it comes to NATO is very clear and that is a message of continuity – NATO remains absolutely committed to Georgia, we remain committed to the Bucharest decisions that Georgia will become a member of NATO. I`ve heard encouraging public remarks from the incoming government reflecting the broad will of the people for Georgian membership”, Appathurai told media after the meeting.
Prior to it, the special representative held his first official meeting in Tbilisi with the State Security Secretary of Georgia Giga Bokeria.
Reportedly, the sides discussed the political situation in Georgia after the parliamentary elections. The meeting was closed for the media, though Giga Bokeria made comments for the media after the meeting and hailed the visit of the NATO envoy was very timely and significant.
“We are glad to the visit of Mr. Appathurai to Georgia. Everybody knows that parliamentary elections in Georgia were mentioned as one of the tests for the development of democratic reforms in Georgia and therefore, as one of the tests in the process of the country`s integration into the NATO. Now, when we have passed this test and with all assessments, it was passed successfully, it is very important that discussion on progress of the negotiations are resumed as soon as possible,” Bokeria said.