Leaders of 29 NATO member nations and Georgian officials met at NATO-Georgia Commission meeting in Brussels today to discuss security, defense reform and cooperation. Upon conclusion of the meeting, the sides adopted a joint declaration, emphasizing “unique scope and depth of Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance.”
In the declaration, Allies recognize the significant progress on reforms, which “Georgia has made and must continue,” which are helping the country to “progress in its preparations towards membership,” and strengthen Georgia’s defense and interoperability capabilities with the Alliance.
The document further emphasizes that Georgia is one of the NATO’s closest operational partners, and that the Allies “highly appreciate Georgia’s steadfast support for NATO’s operations and missions.”
The declaration also reiterates the decision made at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 that “Georgia will become a member of the Alliance, with MAP as an integral part of the process.”
It further notes that Georgia’s cooperation with the Alliance contains “all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership, in particular the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Programme and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.”
The Allies also welcome Georgian government’s new peace initiative, express “firm support” to the Geneva International Discussions, call on Russia to “reverse its recognition of the so-called independence” of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, and condemn “grave human rights violations” in the two regions.
On its part, Georgia reaffirms its determination to achieve NATO membership, “one of its top foreign and security policy priorities, which is backed by strong public support, and is now also enshrined in its new Constitution.”
This is the first time that the NATO-Georgia Commission – a regular forum for political consultations and practical cooperation between the Alliance and Georgia – was held at the level of the Heads of State and Government. The Commission meeting was held on the sidelines of the Brussels Summit.