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Georgian FM Visits NATO HQ

Georgian Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani is visiting Brussels on January 17-18, where he has already met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Permanent Representatives of Allied States.

The trip comes nearly a week after the NATO-Russia Council meeting in Brussels, where Moscow had sought “security guarantees” and halting the alliance’s open-door policy.

“All our expectations were met,” FM Zalkaliani stressed on January 17 after the talks with the NATO Secretary-General. While the Alliance is ready to continue talks with Russia, the top Georgian diplomat noted NATO has made it clear it would not make any concessions on the “red lines that run through Georgia’s territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic integration.”

Referring to the 2008 Bucharest Summit declaration that Georgia and Ukraine will eventually become its members, FM Zalkaliani said he was once again reassured that the Alliance would not revisit its decisions and commitment to a state’s sovereign right to choose its own security alliances. 

“Once again, I received guarantees that the Open Door Policy will be one of the main directions on the agenda of the [June 29-30] Madrid Summit,” the top diplomat added.

Earlier in the day, at the meeting with the Permanent Representatives of the Allied States, hosted by Polish Ambassador to NATO Tomasz Szatkowski, the sides discussed European and regional security and the ongoing NATO-Russia dialogue.

The NATO members have reiterated that they “are not going to revise their decision regarding Georgia’s NATO membership despite the Russian Federation’s aggressive rhetoric, which is completely at variance with the international principles,” the Georgian Deputy Prime Minister said after the meeting.

FM Zalkaliani also stressed the importance of coordinating Georgia’s actions with its NATO partners “so that the progress we have so far made on Georgia’s integration path is further improved rather than diminished.”

Poland’s Permanent Delegation to NATO, on its part, said in a tweet on January 17 that the Allies remain united in their commitment to Georgia’s NATO aspirations.

As part of the two-day trip to Brussels, FM Zalkaliani is also set to hold meetings with the European Union officials.

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

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