Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania hosted NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the Defence Ministry. The NATO Assistant Secretary General visited Georgia to attend NATO Week.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at Defence Ministry
Friday, April 11
At the meeting the delegations discussed the implemented defence reforms and Georgia's prospects for NATO membership. The Defence Minister and the NATO official also referred to Georgia's participation in the ISAF mission. The NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy thanked the Georgian side for its contribution to international operations and highlighted the professionalism of the Georgian soldiers. The Defence Minister underscored the importance of strengthening the NATO-Georgia relationship and outlined that Georgia stands ready to continue participation in international missions. "We discussed our bilateral cooperation and the progress appreciated by NATO, ongoing reforms in Georgia, especially in the defence sector. We focused on our joint operation in Afghanistan and peaceful elections were a clear demonstration of our progress. We can be proud that Georgia has made a significant contribution to this historical process. I would like to say to the high officials from NATO that Georgia will continue the reform process. The Georgian Armed Forces will always be the cornerstone for NATO forces. I am sure that the NATO-Georgia relationship will strengthen and deepen and Georgia will become a member of NATO that will bring more security to Georgia and to NATO," declared the Defence Minister of Georgia.
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said, "I would like to use this opportunity to thank Georgia for the incredible important contribution to our ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Georgia is the biggest non-NATO contributing country and the work that your troops have been doing in Afghanistan is with the utmost level of professionalism, dedication and courage and has been very valuable to the success of the ISAF operation. I believe if there were any doubts about the course where Afghanistan is heading and where the people of Afghanistan want to see their country heading they were dispersed by Saturday's elections where 7 million people came out and voted, clearly demonstrating that Afghans are ready to take the reins of the future of their own country in their own hands. We are of course planning a follow up mission, "Resolute Support", provided that the BSA and Sofia Agreements are signed and we are grateful that Georgia has also committed to participate with us in that train, advice and assist mission which will be important to keep the gains achieved in Afghanistan. As I have said many times today Georgia is a very valuable and valued partner to NATO. We very much appreciate the reforms you have carried out. Work still remains to be done and the areas we have discussed today concerning the further professionalization of the armed services, of the administrative reforms in the judiciary and other areas. But we recognize the achievements of Georgia with the last elections and with many aspects that have been done and as I said today the Bucharest decision remains that Georgia will become a member of NATO once the conditions for membership have been fulfilled and the allies make that decision."