Foreign Minister: Georgia Ready to Take Further Steps to NATO

Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikheil Janelidze, says that Georgia has all practical instruments necessary to become a NATO member.

The Minister made the statement at the Second Annual US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Conference in Washington ‘100 Years of Georgia's First Republic.’

Janelidze participated in the Panel Geopolitics and Security: US-Georgia Strategic Partnership in Action.

In his speech, Janelidze talked about Georgia's First Democratic Republic as one of the first democratic states in Europe. He also emphasized the importance of Georgia in the aftermath of the independence of Georgia in 1991 and the role of Georgia in today's world.

He underlined the special efforts of the United States which have contributed a lot to Georgia's democratic development after the declaration of independence.

“We have done a lot of things to reach the point where we are now; we are proud that Georgia is a strategic partner of the United States and the main ally in the region," Janelidze said.

The Minister emphasized the geopolitical significance of Georgia, which has attracted much attention from the West since the 1990s, adding Georgia is "a gateway and plays an important role in the development of transit and energy routes between Europe and Asia, as well as the security of the Euro-Atlantic space."

He says Georgia, which is located in a difficult and a conflictive region, makes a significant contribution to regional and global stability and security by participating in NATO peacekeeping missions.

Janelidze also focused on the recent meetings of the Georgian delegation in Washington, whereby US officials praised Georgia’s reforms and noted their belief that soon it will become a NATO member.

“Georgia will become a member of NATO; we have all practical tools to lead us to Alliance membership. We have more tools than NATO membership candidates and we believe that we are quite well prepared to take further steps on the path of joining NATO,” he said.

According to the Georgian Vice-PM, individual regimes today try to discredit the Euro-Atlantic space and challenge its security, which requires additional effort to ensure peace and development in the Euro-Atlantic community.

"In such a period, Georgia's integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is very important. Georgia is among the most advanced and we should not allow forces to cut Georgia from this family. Now it is time to take new steps in both bilateral and multilateral formats, "Janelidze said.

The Minister also spoke about the Russian occupation of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, saying restoration of territorial integrity through peaceful means is the main priority of the Government of Georgia.

By Thea Morrison

24 May 2018 18:21