NATO praises Georgia for its achievements
By Ana Robakidze
Friday, February 7
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili visited NATO headquarters within the framework of his official visit to Brussels. On February 5, Gharibashvili met NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and participated in the first meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission this year.
According to the PM’s press center at the meeting between Gharibashvili and Rasmussen, the importance of Georgian and NATO cooperation and the close partnership relations with Georgia was noted. “There was emphasized the contribution of Georgia to the overall process of Euro-Atlantic security, in particular the significant contribution to the ISAF mission. The Georgian side reaffirmed its readiness to participate in the NATO training mission in Afghanistan after 2014.”
After the meeting, a joint press conference was held, where the sides summarized the results of the meeting and answered journalists' questions.
NATO Secretary General praised Georgia’s reforms and said currently there is a more mature democracy in the country, which could be achieved after free and fair presidential elections last year. Rasmussen noted that NATO continues its enlargement policy and “it is not the job of third party countries to decide how NATO should behave while conducting the open door policy.”
“Prime Minister, we stand by our commitments. At the Bucharest Summit in 2008 we decided that Georgia will become a NATO member, provided you meet the necessary requirements. That decision still stands,” Rasmussen said. He added that Georgia has moved much closer to NATO but there is still work to be done for integration in the Euro-Atlantic community.
Rasmussen thanked Georgia for its commitments to the NATO missions and said Georgia is a strong and committed NATO partner and plays an outstanding role in NATO operations.
PM Gharibashvili spoke about the importance of cooperation with NATO and said that Georgia's aspiration to the Euro-Atlantic structures is an irreversible process, because it is a demand of the Georgian people and the Government of Georgia will do its best to fulfill it. The PM announced that Georgia is continuing its contribution to NATO security missions.
"Georgia has an opportunity and a desire to be a participant in Euro-Atlantic security. Together with some 14 missions we will continue to serve in Afghanistan. We discussed the reforms as well as the development of relations between NATO and Georgia. Georgia will continue moving towards NATO and this is one of our values. Georgia's NATO aspirations are supported by a major part of the country's population," Garibashvili said stressing that based on its achievements, Georgia will be closer to NATO.
After the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission, Gharibashvili said he received very positive messages from NATO ambassadors and that they praised the efforts of the new government for strengthening democracy in Georgia.
"I would like to confirm that we have heard only positive assessments made by the Ambassadors from all of the NATO member countries. They particularly emphasize the achievements of Georgia’s new government in terms of strengthening the democratic institutions and all of them say unanimously that the new government managed to consolidate democracy in the country during the past year," Gharibashvili commented after the meeting.
According to the State Minister of Euro-Atlantic integration Aleksi Petriashvili, who accompanied the PM to Brussels, the visit has already brought particular results to Georgia and it was also decided that high ranking officials from NATO and EU will visit Georgia in the near future.
A delegation from the NATO Military Committee will be arrive in Georgia in 2014 for the first time. NATO officials, led by Chairman of Military Committee General Knud Bartels, will visit the country on February 11-12.