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NATO Reiterates Full Membership Option For Georgia

Civil Georgia
December 4, 2012

Rasmussen: Georgia is NATO’s ‘Dedicated’ Partner

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Tbilisi: NATO foreign ministers will “recognize the progress that Georgia has made” when they meet their Georgian counterpart, Maia Panjikidze, on December 5, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said before the start of a two-day NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

He said that NATO foreign ministers would “encourage all parties [in Georgia] to keep up the momentum of democratic reforms.”

Rasmussen described Georgia as “a dedicated partner and one of the countries which aspires to join the Alliance.”

“Georgia has shown an exemplary commitment to our mission in Afghanistan and tomorrow we will discuss with all of our partners in ISAF the question of long-term funding for the Afghan forces as part of a broad international effort,” Rasmussen said.

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Civil Georgia
December 4, 2012

NATO Chief Speaks of Need for ‘Smooth Cohabitation’ in Georgia

Tbilisi: With the democratic parliamentary elections last month Georgia has passed an important test, but NATO is now looking forward to “a smooth cohabitation” between President Saakashvili and the new government led by PM Ivanishvili, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

He made the remarks at a news conference after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at foreign ministerial level in Brussels on December 4 while responding to a question from a Georgian journalist that after the elections there were expectations in Georgia of getting a Membership Action Plan (MAP) from NATO either during the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting on December 5 or in the nearest future.

“The elections in Georgia lived up to democratic standards and Georgia that way passed a very important test. Now we look forward to a smooth cohabitation between the new government and the current President; we look forward to presidential elections next year…conducted in the same democratic way as the parliamentary elections this year,” Rasmussen said.

“We have never planned to have discussions on the Membership Action Plan or any other steps at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting tomorrow,” the NATO Secretary General said.

“The [NATO-Georgia] Commission meeting tomorrow will be the first opportunity for NATO allies to discuss Georgia’s NATO aspirations with the new government. I am very pleased that the new government has reaffirmed its NATO aspirations, so there seems to be a broad consensus in Georgia that Georgia will continue to pursue future membership in our Alliance and in exchange we have reiterated that the decision we took in Bucharest in 2008, that Georgia will become a member of NATO provided of course that Georgia fulfills the necessary criteria, still stands,” Rasmussen added.

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Rustavi 2
December 4, 2012

NATO-Georgia Commission to convene in Brussels tomorrow

A series of ministerial talks at NATO headquarters is underway in Brussels. A meeting of the NATO-Russia council was held today. Foreign ministers from NATO nations and Russia agreed to increase their cooperation in 2013 at the meeting.

A meeting of NATO- Georgia Commission, which will be held tomorrow, will open the second day of the ministerial. Georgia`s foreign minister, Ms. Maia Panjikidze, will deliver a speech at the meeting.

The Georgian delegation will also participate in the meeting of the Afghanistan Commission which will convene tomorrow. Georgia is going to attend the meeting with the status of a special guest.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made an initial statement regarding Georgia.

“Tomorrow we will meet the foreign minister of Georgia, a dedicated partner and one of the countries which aspires to join the alliance. We will recognize the progress that Georgia has made and encourage all parties to keep up the momentum of democratic reforms. Georgia has shown exemplary commitment to our mission in Afghanistan”, he said.

“In my speech I will touch upon the changes that have been carried out in Georgia and the strategy the Georgian government will follow on its way to integration into NATO. This foreign policy priority has not changed and, moreover, Georgia intends to strengthen its strategic partnership with NATO and partner countries even more”, Ms. Panjikidze said.

Maia Panjkikidze on the first day of her visit in Brussels held meetings with the foreign ministers of Latvia, Romania and Hungary. At the meetings the sides discussed the position the partner countries are going to show towards Georgia on its way to NATO as well as bilateral relations.

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Civil Georgia
December 4, 2012

NATO, Georgian FMs to Meet in Brussels

Tbilisi: Foreign ministers from NATO-member states will meet their Georgian counterpart, Maia Panjikidze, in the framework of the NATO-Georgia Commission in Brussels on December 5.

The meeting, which will be held on the sidelines of a two-day NATO foreign ministerial summit, will discuss foreign policy and the reform priorities of Georgia’s new government, according to NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu.

“They’ll discuss the foreign policy and reform priorities of the new government, including its objectives to further strengthen democratic institutions and advance on the path of the Euro-Atlantic integration,” she said on November 30.

A meeting of NATO foreign ministers with non-NATO ISAF contributing nations is also scheduled on December 5.

Last month Georgia doubled its contribution to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan to 1,571 servicemen, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

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