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NATO will assist Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 11
The two-day Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Warsaw ended on July 9, wherein Georgia was praised for its reforms and commitments to the international security and was promised to receive more support in the future from the alliance to boost its self-defence capabilities.

The Warsaw Summit Communiqué released at the end of the Summit read that the Alliance would specifically support Georgia in upgrading its air defence and aerial surveillance capabilities.

The Communiqué also said Georgia will be one of the key participants in NATO’s Black Security project.

As a sign of the alliance’s support, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also declared he will visit Georgia in Autumn. It was not specified whether his trip will take place before or after Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary elections.

The Communiqué praised Georgia’s democratic reforms and said the Alliance’s door remained opened for Georgia. It also appreciated Georgia’s contributions to international peace and security.

In response, Georgia said the country’s 885 soldiers would stay in the NATO’s Afghanistan’s Resolute Support Mission, which the alliance intends to expand in the near future.

Prior to the Communiqué, the first NATO-Georgia Commission meeting was held at the Summit, after which NATO Foreign Ministers issued a statement over Georgia’s current role in NATO and the country’s future prospects.

“In light of this relationship, the Ministers welcomed Georgia’s engagement in strategic discussions on Black Sea security and recent developments in the region affecting Euro-Atlantic security,” the Foreign Ministers stated.

The statement also claimed that the Foreign Minsters welcomed the significant progress that has been made in implementing the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package adopted at NATO Wales Summit. In the context the statement mentioned the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, where more than 30 Allied and partner security experts were supporting Georgia’s security reform efforts. The statement also stressed the significance of the Defence Institution Building School which was inaugurated and which would provide a first pilot course this month. The Allied Foreign Ministers highlighted the first ever NATO-Georgia joint training that would be repeated in this November and said they supported conducting of the trainings on regular bases;

New initiatives to boost Georgia’s self-defence capabilities included increased support for Georgia’s training and education, including through a possible trust fund project, and strategic communications. Allies said they would provide support to the development of Georgia’s air defence and air surveillance. They also promised to deepen the focus on security in the Black Sea region;

That Georgia’s Foreign Minister reaffirmed Georgia’s determination to achieve NATO membership. He also briefed the NATO representatives over current situation in Georgia’s de-facto regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) which are now occupied by Russia. Minister Mikheil Janelidze also stressed Georgia’s commitments to continue comprehensive, democratic reforms. The Minister also welcomed Montenegro’s NATO membership and the Alliance’s open-door policy;

The Ministers also encouraged Georgia to sustain its momentum in its overall reforms, which NATO would continue to support. NATO ministers said they looked forward to the October 2016 Parliamentary elections being conducted in accordance with the highest democratic standards;

At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allies agreed that Georgia would become a member of NATO with MAP as an integral part of the process, they said they were faithful to the promise;

The allies highly appreciated Georgia’s significant contributions to the NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and recognised the sacrifices the Georgian people have made for our shared security. Allies also welcomed Georgia’s contributions to the NATO Response Force. They said these efforts, along with Georgia’s participation in EU-led operations, demonstrated Georgia’s commitment and capability to contribute to Euro-Atlantic security.

The Ministers reiterated their full support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. They condemned Russia’s illegal activities on the Georgian soil and praised the Georgia's peaceful approach to solving of conflicts. They also welcomed the resumption of meetings within the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism and they encouraged all participants in the Geneva International Discussions to play a constructive role, as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, the UN, and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the internationally recognised territory of Georgia;

The Ministers also said they looked forward to the visit of the North Atlantic Council in permanent session to Georgia this autumn, which would demonstrate NATO’s political and practical support to Georgia and provide an opportunity to take stock of Georgia’s progress.

The Georgian delegation at the Summit was chaired by President Giorgi Margvelashvili. The delegation was composed of the Minister of Defence, Foreign Ministers, on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Secretary of State Security Council and other officials.