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U.S. Official: NATO Must Agree on Georgia Membership

NATO must agree on Georgia’s membership to the alliance and ?no country that is not a member of NATO has any say over Georgia?s future within the alliance,? the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State said on March 30. 

Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi after talks with Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze, the U.S. official noted that Tbilisi and Washington shared a  common goal, ?which is Georgia?s membership at a right time in NATO.?

?Our point in the United States government is the right time should be defined by Georgia, not by anybody else? Right time for Georgian membership in NATO is when Georgia has completed all of its reforms: judicial reforms, democratic reforms, military reforms and has continued what it?s been doing now for several months, which is pursuing constructive and peaceful to resolving separatists conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia within Georgia,? Matthew Bryza said.

?So Georgia?s membership in NATO depends on Georgia?s own performance,? he added.

The U.S. official hailed Nino Burjanadze?s efforts in obtaining a unanimous parliamentary vote supporting the country?s NATO aspiration.

?We are also grateful for the success, if it?s appropriate to say that, in Madam Speaker in leading the entire Parliament to vote with 160 to nothing for a resolution underscoring Georgia?s aspiration to join the NATO,? Bryza said.

Meanwhile, Robert Simmons, NATO Secretary General?s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, hailed Tbilisi?s efforts in moving forward on implementing its reform targets in the framework of the NATO integration process.

?We set challenging goals and I think Georgia is working towards meeting those goals and that is an important thing,? Robert Simmons said after talks with Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili on March 29 in Tbilisi.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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