President Salome Zurabishvili and Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze reiterated today that NATO membership remains the country’s top foreign policy priority.
The two leaders were addressing the NATO-Georgia Military Exercise 2019, held at the Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) in Krtsanisi, near Tbilisi.
President Zurabishvili said the military exercise demonstrates the country’s “strong vocation” towards the Alliance.
“With this exercise, we are reiterating that our goal to become a NATO member remains unchanged; our goal is to strengthen democracy and security and to continue active participation in the international partnership for ensuring global peace,” she noted.
“Georgia’s NATO integration is not aimed against anyone and no threats can be justified [against Georgia]; Georgia is a sovereign nation and is free in choosing its allies,” Zurabishvili added.
She also stressed the country’s choice to become a member of the Alliance strengthens the country’s defense and security, and enhances stability in the region. “This is the only right choice for Georgia, so we will pursue our path to the end – [to have] more NATO in Georgia and more Georgia in NATO,” she concluded.
PM Bakhtadze echoed the sentiments in his remarks, saying the military exercise “is yet another confirmation of Georgia’s unwavering Euro-Atlantic integration path and its close cooperation with the Alliance.”
He also said Georgia “firmly believes” that its cooperation with NATO “is aimed at ensuring peace, stability and development in the region, and serves the interests of all sides [in the region].”
“We are committed to freedom, democracy, rule of law and security – the values that the Alliance was founded on, and we have demonstrated this through our democratic reforms and our contribution to strengthening global security. Georgia, as a reliable NATO partner, has never been as close to NATO as today,” he noted.