The FINANCIAL — Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili is quoted as saying following his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to MFA of Georgia.
Vice Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli held a meeting with the NATO Secretary General at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The sides discussed the process of Georgia’s integration with NATO, the ongoing implementation of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package, as well as Georgia’s objectives with respect to the Warsaw Summit. The security situation in the region was also discussed.
“We met the NATO Secretary General together with the Georgian Defence Minister thus demonstrating that membership of NATO remains atop the Georgian Government’s political agenda and the progress achieved across the path of integration with NATO is also of paramount importance to the Georgian Government” – Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.
According to him, the NATO Secretary General once again reaffirmed the progress Georgia has made across the path of integration with NATO. “We focused on concrete steps the Georgian Government has to take towards achieving the consolidation of opinion regarding Georgia’s progress. The Secretary General pledged support towards ensuring the unanimity of the NATO Member States in recognising the progress of Georgia. Whether this progress will be recognised in the form of MAP or in some other way is a matter of specific circumstances. MAP is a next logical step the Alliance may take with respect to Georgia. However, our ultimate goal is to achieve membership of NATO. This is the main message we delivered during the meeting. Membership of NATO remains atop the Georgian Government’s political agenda” – Giorgi Kvirikashvili said.
The NATO Secretary General emphasised that the Alliance remains committed to the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit. Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the progress made towards the implementation of the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package recalling, in this light, the inauguration of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center as part of the NATO Secretary General’s official visit to Georgia in August 2015. Jens Stoltenberg expressed his gratitude for Georgia’s contribution towards the strengthening of Euro-Atlantic security and emphasised the high level of professionalism and bravery of Georgian soldiers. He conveyed his condolences over the tragic death of First Class Private Vasil Kuljanishvili Vasil Kuljanishvili.
During his meeting with the Georgian Ministers, the Secretary General emphasised that the Alliance firmly supports Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to him, Russia’s policy in the region is a serious challenge to common security of the Euro-Atlantic space.