NATO: Georgia Is “Special Partner”
April 2, 2014
NATO, Georgian FMs Hold Meeting
Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Georgia is a “special partner”, which made “remarkable progress” and added that upcoming local elections will be “another significant milestone” on the road to the mature democracy.
In opening remarks at the NATO-Georgia Commission on the level of foreign ministers in Brussels on April 2, Rasmussen said that Georgia “has proven itself to be a security exporter”, noting Georgia’s contribution to mission in Afghanistan, its commitment to continue its participation in the post-2014 mission and intention to join NATO Response Forces from 2015.
“Georgia can become a role model for whole region, a nation that provides security and stability, a nation that is undertaking real reforms and reaping real dividends and the nation that is on track to deliver on its sovereign choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Rasmussen said.
He also said that “crisis at our borders following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine” will also be discussed at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting and reiterated Alliance’s support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and its aspiration to join NATO.
April 2, 2014
NATO May Decide How to Address Georgia’s Aspirations in June
Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said he expects Alliance’s foreign ministers to decide in June how to address at the summit in Wales open door policy, including in respect of Georgia.
Asked during a press conference after a two-day NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on April 2, what Georgia’s chances are to get Membership Action Plan (MAP) in September, when NATO holds summit in Wales, Rasmussen responded that it’s now too early to say anything about how NATO will address the open door policy at the summit.
“Definitely we will address the open door policy. We have outlined a process leading up to the summit; we will update assessment reports on each of the four aspirant countries [Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and Macedonia] and these reports will be discussed by foreign ministers when they meet in June and I would expect foreign ministers to take decisions in June as to how we will address the open door policy,” Rasmussen said.
He also said that Georgia “has made significant progress in its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.” An assessment team from NATO visited Georgia late last month.
“The Georgian government has carried through comprehensive reforms,” he said and commended Georgia’s contribution to NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and added that last year’s presidential election was “exemplary”.
“Georgia has really demonstrated strong commitment to our Alliance – we appreciate that, we welcome that. But still of course there is work to do,” the NATO Secretary General added.
He also reiterated 2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision that Georgia will join the alliance provided that it fulfills necessary criteria.
2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision also says that MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”; references to the need of going through MAP phase before joining the alliance are also made in NATO’s subsequent decisions in respect of Georgia.