Turkey’s foreign minister called on Thursday for the enlargement of NATO and the addition of Georgia to the organization.“I don’t understand why we have not invited Georgia or we haven’t activated the action plan for Georgia to become a member,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a panel discussion at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“We are criticized for having relatively better relations with Russia as a neighbor, but our western friends are not agreeing to invite Georgia because they don’t want to provoke Russia. But Georgia needs us and we need an ally like Georgia. So we need enlargement and Georgia should be made a member.”
The Bucharest Summit
During the NATO summit in Bucharest, United States and Poland called for Georgia to be allowed to join the Membership Action Plan (MAP). The alliance decided not to offer Georgia a MAP due to opposition from several countries, led by Germany and France, who feared the decision would anger Russia.
“To me personally, Georgia should be a member of the alliance right now.”
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, former commander of the US Army in Europe
- Shortly after Georgia regained independence in 1991, relations with NATO started in 1992, when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.
- Practical bilateral cooperation started when Georgia joined the Partnership for Peace (1994) and deepened after the “Rose Revolution” in 2003, when a new government pushed for more ambitious reforms.
- Allies agreed at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a NATO member, provided it meets all necessary requirements – this decision has since been reconfirmed at successive NATO Summits.
- Following the Russia-Georgia crisis in August 2008, the Allies continue to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders, and call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.
- Since 2008, the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) provides the framework for close political dialogue and cooperation in support of reform efforts and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. In July 2018, Heads of State and Government met with Georgia and adopted a Declaration which marked the NGC’s tenth anniversary. Work is taken forward through the development and implementation of an Annual National Programme.
- At the Wales Summit in September 2014, a substantial package of measures was launched to strengthen Georgia’s ability to defend itself and advance its preparations for membership. Further steps to help strengthen defence capabilities were taken at the NATO Summits in Warsaw in 2016 and in Brussels in 2018.
- A NATO Liaison Office was established in Georgia in 2010 to support the country’s reform efforts and its programme of cooperation with NATO.
- Georgia provides valued support for NATO-led operations, in particular in Afghanistan.