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Georgia essential for Black Sea Security

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, December 5
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on Friday in Brussels that the country can play a major role in NATO's Black Sea Security project.

Stoltenberg stressed that NATO would continue to work with Georgia on the challenges the Alliance saw in the broader Black Sea region.

“Georgia is one of the most important countries for NATO to work closely with, because the Black Sea region is of strategic importance for the whole of the NATO alliance, and the partnership with Georgia is an important part of that,” he said.

During a joint press conference following the meeting, Stoltenberg stated that NATO strongly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and valued Georgia’s commitments to the Alliance and for international security.

“We will provide strong political support for your independence, for your territorial integrity and sovereignty and we will continue to provide practical support for both the importance of implementing the reforms but also to continue to conduct exercises.

“We will do this to make sure that we fill and strengthen the Joint Training Centre and that the NATO-Georgia Commission continues to be an important platform and tool for political dialogue but also for practical cooperation,” Stoltenberg said.

Stoltenberg praised Georgian soldiers in NATO Resolute Support Mission as they reacted “very quickly and in a very professional manner” to defend German Consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif when it was attacked by a suicide bomber in November this year.

“Georgian soldiers were very brave and professional in defending the consulate.

“This is just yet another example of how Georgia contributes to our shared security and how Georgia contributes to NATO and the important role and the professionalism of your soldiers when they conduct operations in NATO, in Resolute Support in Afghanistan,” Stoltenberg said.

The NATO top figure repeated that Georgia had all the practical tools to gain membership in the alliance, and that NATO continues to support Georgia in its aspirations and efforts.

For his part, Kvirikashvili reassured the NATO leadership in the commitments assumed by the country and noted that as an aspiring country to NATO, Georgia will continue making considerable contributions to common North Atlantic security efforts.