Reflecting on the outgoing German Chancellor’s legacy in an interview with Deutsche Welle, German broadcaster, former U.S. President George W. Bush said his “biggest disagreement” with Angela Merkel was about Georgia’s NATO membership.
“[The biggest disagreement with Merkel was] probably whether or not Georgia should be given the membership application process to NATO,” said the former U.S. President.
The 43rd U.S. President noted that Chancellor Merkel “was very resolute and did not think that it was the right thing to do, and I thought it was the right thing to do.”
“But we conducted ourselves in a such a way not to personalize it, because above all the politics there was just friendship,” George W. Bush added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was one of the key opponents to giving Georgia and Ukraine a Membership Action Plan at the April 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit. Upon her arrival at the Summit, the Chancellor had said that the move was too early for the two countries.
The Bucharest Summit Declaration eventually pledged that Georgia and Ukraine “will become members of NATO,” without providing specific timeframes.
Read from 2008:
- What NATO Summit Declaration Says on Georgia
- NATO Delays MAP for Georgia
- NATO Fails to Agree on Georgia MAP – Reports
- Germany to Veto Georgia MAP – FT