The newly elected Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Shalva Papuashvili, on his first official visit in this capacity, held meetings at the NATO Headquarters today. In Brussels, Speaker Papuashvili met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and addressed the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting.
The Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson dubbed the discussions with the Deputy Secretary General “valuable,” saying in a tweet that Georgia and NATO remained “committed and reliable partners determined to achieve security, stability and prosperity in Georgia and the wider region.”
After the Commission meeting, Speaker Papuashvili stressed that NATO and its member states expressed their support to Georgia, its territorial integrity, sovereignty and its aspiration to join the Alliance, as per the press release by the Georgian Parliament.
According to Speaker Papuashvili, the Allies once again reaffirmed their commitment to NATO’s open door policy and reiterated that Georgia will become its member.
Speaking with media, the Parliament Speaker underlined the importance of reflecting Black Sea security issues and commitment to NATO’s Open Door Policy in the Alliance’s new strategy, slated to be discussed at the forthcoming Madrid Summit in June 2022.
He argued that the Georgian Parliament and the Government were “doing their best” to ensure Georgia meets the membership requirements, so that “when there is a political decision from NATO states, Georgia joins [the Alliance] as soon as possible.”
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According to Speaker Papuashvili, during his address to the Commission and in the discussions afterward, he spoke about ongoing and forthcoming democratic reforms in Georgia, in particular, those related to parliamentary oversight, including in defense and security realms.
Along with Speaker Papuashvili, the Georgian delegation in Brussels includes Chair of Defense and Security Committee Irakli Beraia, Chair of Foreign Relations Committee Nikoloz Samkharadze, and First Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia.
The visit comes against the backdrop of strained relations between NATO and Russia over Moscow’s military build-up in and around Ukraine, as well as demands that the Alliance backtracks on its pledge to eventually accept Georgia and Ukraine.