Wales hosted the North-Atlantic Alliance Summit on September 4-5. The heads of state and government leaders of NATO member and partner nations gathered at a two-day Summit in Newport to address current and future security challenges. The Georgian delegation chaired by the President Giorgi Margvelashvili took part in the Summit. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania, Chief of Defence Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze, State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili and other officials were represented in the delegation.NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and UK Prime Minster David Cameron opened the Summit. In their addresses to the public they stressed significance of the meeting. Russian military aggression against Ukraine and increasing extremism in the Middle East and North Africa are the key topics of discussion. NATO member and partner nations’ heads of state will also draw attention to the new threats.The NATO Summit in Wales started with the session on the international mission in Afghanistan. Along with the President of Georgia, Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania and Chief of Defence of GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze attended the meeting. At the extended meeting, NATO member and partner nations’ heads of states discussed the achievements of the ISAF mission and support of the Alliance after 2014. The ISAF troop contributor countries expressed willingness to engage in the mission after 2014 and to help Afghan National Security Forces in maintaining stability in the country. Within the framework of the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales, the first session was held at the level of Ministers of Defence of the Alliance member and partner nations (28+24). The meeting went on in interoperability platform where the sides discussed on how to maintain military interoperability with the Alliance and how to enhance it after finishing the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania delivered a speech during the meeting. He emphasized importance of the new initiative and declared that Georgia carries on an active cooperation with NATO within all the existing mechanisms. Irakli Alasania focused on the NATO-Georgia cooperation package expected from the Wales Summit. As he declared, directions set out in the package will facilitate Georgia`s integration into NATO and will insure more engagement of the Alliance member and partner nations in the process of strengthening defence capabilities of the country.At the next day of the Summit, Defence Ministers of NATO member and five allied countries held the first meeting in the format of Enhance Opportunities. NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow chaired the 28+5 meeting.
Friday, September 12
Georgia became the owner of the “Golden Card” together with Sweden, Finland, Australia and Jordan. Among the NATO aspirant nations, Georgia is the only country, which was invited to attend the meeting in the format of Enhance Opportunities Initiative. By engaging in this program, Georgia was acknowledged as one of the most interoperable partners of NATO. Under this initiative, Georgia will have the opportunity to take part in the NATO strategic discussions, like the NATO member nations. Georgia will be also involved in the planning of NATO operations and trainings.Within NATO Summit in Wales, the Georgian delegation met with NATO Secretary General. The sides highlighted significance of the Wales Summit and drew attention to the new cooperation package Georgia. As Anders Fogh Rasmussen outlined, the substantial package to Georgia would be a significant impulse for the country in terms of NATO integration prospects. Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili thanked NATO Secretary General for his firm support to Georgia`s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. One of the key topics of discussion was a regional security environment.Within NATO Summit in Wales, Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania held bilateral meetings with his British, Canadian, Finn, Ukrainian, Polish and Swedish counterparts. Irakli Alasania took part in Young Leaders Conference, organized by Atlantic Council. While delivering a speech Irakli Alasania focused on the importance of the Substantial Package for Georgia and the existing circumstances in the Ukraine.