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Georgia will join NATO when it shows it can

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, January 29
Georgia will review which activities the Government must undertake to meet NATO standards in the near future, David Bakradze, Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, stated before his meeting with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General, during his official visit to Brussels on January 27. “The main issue of our meeting is future cooperation between Georgia and the Alliance. NATO is preparing a document which should speed up Georgia’s accession process. But we should definitely talk about Georgian-Russian relations, the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia and the violations of human rights there. These are the issues important for NATO as a military-political alliance,” Bakradze told the media.

The meeting between the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament and the NATO Secretary General lasted half an hour but the two parties focused on the current situation in the occupied territories and the position of Alliance on the territorial integrity of the country. Both parties stressed that the fulfillment of the obligations laid down by the Bucharest Summit resolution is extremely important for Georgia so that the country can soon receive NATO membership.

The Secretary General said that NATO’s commitment to offering Georgia membership, confirmed at the Bucharest Summit in 2008, remains firm. Rasmussen and Bakradze discussed security issues and the risks presented by the presence of the Russian military contingent in Georgia. The Secretary General said that NATO will continue supporting Georgia in its reform efforts and thanked Georgia for its contribution to the NATO-led operation in Afghanistan.

“The commitments taken at the Bucharest Summit will certainly be fulfilled and Georgia will become a NATO member country,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated at the meeting. The Secretary General stressed firmly that Russia should fulfill the terms of the ceasefire agreement and withdraw its Army from the territory of Georgia. “I have reaffirmed to the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia that the decision made by NATO at the Bucharest Summit remains in force. We have now discussed how to develop this process,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the media after the meeting. “I have been to Georgia once, as Prime Minister of Denmark, but I will visit Georgia again as the NATO Secretary General in the near future,” he added.

“The NATO Secretary General was firm in his statements. It is obvious that NATO will continue to support Georgia maintaining its territorial integrity. We have heard an absolutely clear statement from the Secretary General that Russia should fulfill the obligations outlined in the resolution, remove its Army and start normal political discussions,” Bakradze told the media.