Stoltenberg: Partnership with Georgia Very Important for NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg praised the Georgian reforms and expressed his support at a meeting with Georgian Vice-Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, in Brussels, within the frames of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting.

Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO’s support for Georgia, highlighting the importance of their partnership.

“We provide strong political and practical support to Georgia; we support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and also welcome the reforms which Georgia is so focused on, in areas like the rule of law and building democratic institutions. We welcome these reforms and will continue to provide support,” the NATO Secretary General said.

He noted the various NATO missions and operations Georgia participates in by contributing to the Rapid Response Force, highlighting that Georgia is one of the largest contributors to the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan with almost 900 troops.

“We’ll continue to work together and I look forward to the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission now with the Foreign Ministers of the Alliance,” Stoltenberg said.

The Georgian Foreign Minister thanked Stoltenberg for his support of Georgia’s integration with NATO, as well as its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Janelidze emphasized that Georgia, as an aspirant country, is making great progress on its path to NATO, progress achieved with the support of the Alliance and its member states.

“In our relations with NATO, we have a lot of substance and we work together in ensuring Black Sea and regional security. We are proud to contribute to the security of the Euro-Atlantic area, and we will continue our contributions,” Janelidze said.

The NATO Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed their practical and political support for Georgia, as well as their commitment to Georgia’s eventual membership of the Alliance.

The ministers discussed the ongoing NATO-Georgia cooperation, including the planning of a joint military exercise in 2019.

According to Stoltenberg, “the Alliance is fully committed to providing Georgia with the advice and tools it needs to advance toward eventual NATO membership.”

The Secretary General underlined NATO’s strong commitment to Georgia’s security and territorial integrity.

“We remain concerned by the deepening of Russia’s relations with the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia. We call on Russia to end its recognition of these regions and withdraw its forces from the Georgian territory,” Stoltenberg said, following the meeting of NATO-Georgia Commission foreign ministers at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

Thea Morrison

07 December 2017 19:11