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NATO: Fake TV Report 'Unwise'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Mar.'10 / 00:52

A fake news report by Georgian television station, Imedi, on March13 was "unwise" and "unhelpful", James Appathurai, the NATO spokesman, said on Wednesday.

He made the remarks after asked at a news conference in Brussels if NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, would raise the issue when he meets President Saakashvili on March 25.

"I do not know what he [the Secretary General] intends to raise, but I do know, that from NATO's point of view this hoax television broadcast was unwise, unhelpful and, let's say, not seen positively within NATO," Appathurai said.

Asked if the fake news report could have any effect on Georgia's eventual NATO membership, Appathurai responded that these two issues should not be linked.

"Georgia's membership in NATO is certainly not for tomorrow; there are fundamental and I think long-term reforms that need to take place," he said. "This television broadcast has taken place; it is now finished, but if you are to ask what NATO thinks of it, the answer would not be approval."

President Saakashvili will be in Brussels on March 25 to participate in European People’s Party (EPP) summit. During the visit he will meet with Anders Fogh Rasmussen in NATO headquarters.

"We have deep partnership with Georgia," Appathurai said. "Commitment of NATO to supporting Georgia's reforms, to Georgia's territorial integrity - I am sure he [President Saakashvili] will hear that again from the Secretary General; but of course there's lot going on in the country and in the region."

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