Allies Reaffirm Full Support at NATO-Georgia Commission Meeting

NATO Allies reaffirmed their full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and condemned Russia’s recognition of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) regions of Georgia as independent, at the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) meeting at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 5 September. The meeting was set up to allow discussion of the situation on the ground in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and ongoing efforts to pursue peace.

The meeting also coincided with the tenth anniversary of the NATO-Georgia Commission, which first met on 15 September 2008. During the meeting, NATO Allies exchanged views with the State Minister of Georgia for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, and Deputy Foreign Minister, David Dondua.

They also praised Georgia’s efforts to pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the context of the Geneva International Discussions.

Before the meeting, Tsikhelashvili and Dondua met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, who reiterated NATO’s political and practical support to Georgia and welcomed Georgia’s substantial contributions to international security.

According to Tsikhelashvili, at the meeting she raised the issue of the human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia.

"I talked about the current situation in the occupied territories, the humanitarian and security challenges that people have been facing under occupation for ten years, and about the tools that Russia is using to separate the war-torn communities,” she said.

The Minister added that they also discussed the peace initiative of the Government of Georgia, which aims at improving the living conditions of people on the occupied territories and to restore confidence between the people living on different sides of the occupation lines.

“NATO delegates believe that the only correct and rational path is peaceful resolution of the conflict. We and our partners are united in this peaceful effort…We also received clear support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia,” she added.

According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, the main topic of the discussions was the Georgia-Russia conflict and the developments in Russian-backed breakaway regions of Georgia.

“In my speech, I talked about the ongoing Geneva International Discussions, its role and the challenges we face during these discussions," Dondua said.

He noted that during the meeting, which lasted two hours, there were a lot of questions and supporting statements for Georgia.

“We are doing everything possible to achieve progress within the frames of the Geneva International Talks, but it is not right to leave this problem in the Geneva format alone: it is important to keep the issue of Georgia on the international agenda and raise it more actively in all formats,” said Dondua.

The NATO-Georgia Commission was established in September 2008 and plays a central role in deepening political dialogue and enhancing practical cooperation between Georgia and NATO.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: NATO

06 September 2018 18:49