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NATO Secretary General: Georgia is closer to Alliance

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, June 10
“Georgia contributes substantially to Euro-Atlantic security,” stated NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after meeting the Georgian President.

The Alliance’s Secretary General met Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels on June 8.

At a joint press-conference, Stoltenberg underlined Georgia’s contribution to NATO-led missions, especially to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, where Georgia is the third largest contributor with 861 soldiers. He thanked the Georgian side for their contribution to international security.

According to the Secretary General, Georgia has carried out impressive defence reforms, which moved Georgia closer to the Alliance.

“Georgia has also carried out impressive defence reforms and you have put in place a more mature democracy. In this way, Georgia has moved closer to NATO,” he said.

Stoltenberg claimed that Georgia successfully implemented the Substantial NATO-Georgia package, which was set up for strengthening Georgia’s self-defence capabilities. He added that about 30 experts are working in Georgia in order to help the government implement self-defence reforms.

“NATO remains committed to helping you in order to enhance safety and to carry out reforms,” the NATO official claimed, and promised that during the NATO Warsaw summit the Alliance will further strengthen the support package for Georgia.

“Georgia and NATO are closer to each other, and I appreciate that we can strengthen the partnership,” Stoltenberg said to Margvelashvili.

During their talks, the Stoltenberg and Margvelashvili also discussed Georgia’s progress in consolidating its democratic institutions, and the country’s ongoing efforts to strengthen rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

Georgia’s President thanked the NATO official for his support and noted that Georgia’s main priority is NATO membership.

Margvelashvili also noted that several weeks ago Georgia had an opportunity to hold joint training with NATO allies as part of Exercise Noble Partner.

According to the President, the sides discussed the upcoming NATO Warsaw summit and talked about the recent developments throughout Georgia and its breakaway territories.

Margvelashvili expressed hope that NATO-Georgian relations will develop even further after the parliamentary elections, due to be held in Georgia in October.

“I hope that the 8 October elections in Georgia will be a step forward towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” stated Margvelashvili.

The upcoming NATO Warsaw summit will be held on July 8-9 and Margvelashvili will lead the Georgian delegation to the Summit.