The Military Committee, NATO’s highest military authority and the organization’s primary source of military advice, is on a two-day visit to Georgia on March 27-28.
The Military Committee convened a special meeting on March 27 at the level of senior military representatives from NATO member states, discussing with Georgian officials the country’s progress on defense reforms, implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, and the security situation in and around Georgia.
Military Committee Chairman, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach and Georgia’s Defense Minister Levan Izoria delivered opening remarks at the meeting.
The Military Committee Chairman said, Georgia is “a valued NATO partner and a significant contributor to NATO-led operations and missions.” “Georgian troops have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO for many years. Georgia is the biggest non-NATO contributor to the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan,” Peach said.
He also underscored that NATO “fully supports” Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and called on the Russian Federation to end its recognition of and withdraw its forces from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.
“In response to Russian military build-up in the Black Sea region, the Alliance has increased cooperation with Georgia at sea,” Peach added. He also stressed practical cooperation between NATO and Georgia, aims to help the country “defend itself as well as advance preparations towards NATO membership.”
Chairing a special meeting of the #NATOMC in #Georgia format, both ?? MoD,
Mr Izoria & ACM Peach agreed that Georgia had made significant progress in
reforming political & military institutions but there was still work to be done on road to Euro-Atlantic integration. pic.twitter.com/n7eiGn7CdK
— NATO_PASCAD (@NATO_PASCAD) March 27, 2019
On his part, Minister Izoria said NATO’s “strong political and practical support” helps Georgia “continue efficient utilization of all existing cooperation mechanisms.” “Georgia as the only aspirant country in the region has enjoyed the unique scope and depth of cooperation with the Alliance translated into vivid NATO presence on the ground.”
The Defense Minister also stressed that the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, the Alliance’s cooperation framework with Georgia, has become “a key practical tool to prepare the country for eventual NATO membership.”