NATO PA Assembly President: We Fully Support Georgia

At the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) spring session in Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, NATO PA President Paolo Alli stated that the Alliance fully supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration and territorial integrity, “and the fact that the NATO PA was held in Georgia confirms that,” he said.

“We believe that Georgia will become a NATO member [and] MAP is a way for the process to be launched. We see that [Georgia is] on the right path but there is still room for improvement,” he said, going on to underline that Georgia is occupying a more and more significant position in the present geo-political environment.

“Regional instability represents a threat, and it threatens the West in general. We feel responsibility and obligation and put emphasis on our support once more. The Russian Federation must be very careful when increasing tensions. This is not good for the international environment,” he noted.

At the joint press-conference with Georgia’s Parliamentary Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Alli said that stability and security in Georgia are very important for the regional stability held so dear by all western countries.

“We have a common interest in terms of fighting terrorism, and hopefully Russia realizes why it must not act so aggressively. MAP is an instrument, a significant political standpoint, and the means for launching the integration process,” he added.

Alli also met Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The main topics of the talks were the Parliamentary Assembly session, NATO-Georgia cooperation and ongoing reforms in the country. According to Ali, Georgia is an island of stability in the region and NATO recognizes that protecting Georgia means protecting Europe.

The NATO PA spring session agenda, NATO-Georgia cooperation, ways of improving Georgia’s security system and the current developments in the country were the top issues discussed by Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Paolo Alli.

“The stability of Georgia is essential for the stability of the entire region. And this is not only important for Georgia and Europe but also for the entire world, because we must guarantee territorial integrity, we must guarantee respect for international law,” Alli said.

In an exclusive interview with Georgian news agency IPN, the NATO PA president said that Georgia is experiencing positive reforms but that other factors still need to be taken into consideration.

“Georgia is [doing] better than other countries, maybe even some NATO members[…]We must take into consideration not only the Russian influence on Georgia in this complex political environment. I think the membership process will take time but Georgia will become a member of NATO,” he stressed.

Paolo Alli also said that the Alliance recognizes the incredible effort Georgia has made in recent years to move towards democracy through impressive results and reforms.

“Our message is that we support Georgia and its territorial integrity. We think the Russian Federation should go back to the official borders. We are strongly committed to defend and support Georgia in its democratic evolution and Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” he stated.

Tbilisi hosted the NATO Parliamentary Assembly for the first time on 26-29 May. The session gathered up to 600 guests, including over 300 parliamentarians from NATO member and partner states.

Georgia is the fifth non-member state of the Alliance to host the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Session.

Thea Morrison

29 May 2017 19:31