Deputy Defence Minister Visits Latvia
Thursday, September 18
Latvia hosted an international forum entitled “Riga Conference 2014”. For two days the local and global security policy-makers discussed dramatic developments in international and regional security, as well as existing challenges. Within the framework of the conference Deputy Defence Minister took part in the discussions of NATO Open Door Policy. “We are pleased that NATO allies very adequately validate the progress Georgia has achieved when it comes to the democratic development, when it comes to Georgia’s contribution to the peace and security. And we got a package – substantial package, as you rightfully mentioned, will help us and will open the way to us eventually to become a member of NATO. The package involves many important elements which will help us to enhance further our interoperability with NATO, to enhance our defence capabilities and eventually get the NATO membership”, outlined Mikheil Darchiashvili. During his speech, Deputy Defence Minister emphasized the importance of Substantial Package Georgia got at NATO Summit in Wales and referred to the ways of Georgia’s NATO membership: “There was serious movement toward keeping the door open. Decisions that were taken in the Wales Summit will definitely take forward this NATO’s open door policy. Before going to the Summit there were very often discussions whether Georgia needs MAP or not – internal ones also the expert communities were deliberating whether we need MAP or not but after Wales Summit we got additional instruments which will be totally sufficient to drive country towards NATO, because frankly speaking I always like to decode the Membership Action Plan – it has political value that the country will become a member of NATO and a practical value in terms of the ANP (Annual National Programmer). Georgia has both – it has a pledge from the Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a member of NATO and at the same time we have Annual National Plan and on top of them we have NGC (NATO-Georgia Commission) which works effectively and in Wales we have enhanced package – Substantial Package plus we become a part of enhance opportunity partners – which all together represent a very strong mechanisms towards membership”. Within the visit to Riga, Mikheil Darchiashvili also held meeting with State Secretary of Latvia Janis Sarts. The sides discussed bilateral defence cooperation between Georgia and Latvia, as well as regional security issues and summed up the outcomes of NATO Summit. Mikheil Darchiashvili thanked his Latvian counterpart for firm support of Georgia’s NATO membership and expressed hope that the Latvian side would be actively involved in implementation process of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.