PM Kobakhidze Meets with NATO SG Stoltenberg

On February 21, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and participated in the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting during his official visit to Brussels. Prior to the meetings, PM Kobakhidze and SG Stoltenberg had a joint press-conference.

Press Statements

“Georgia is a close NATO partner,” Secretary General Stoltenberg said, stressing that the Allies fully support Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Noting that NATO continues to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of Georgia’s territories as independent states, General Stoltenberg stressed that “any threats by Russia to annex Georgia’s occupied regions are unacceptable”.

Secretary General spoke about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. “NATO continues to stand with Ukraine,” – he said, pointing to the recent package of military assistance “worth billions of dollars” from NATO Allies to Ukraine. He then emphasized the role of NATO partners in this regard, and about Georgia, he said: “I welcome the fact that Georgia is providing humanitarian and financial aid and hosting thousands of Ukrainian refugees.”

The NATO Secretary General said that the meeting with the Georgian Prime Minister would focus on security issues in the Black Sea, which he said is of great importance to Georgia.

He highlighted the “significant risks to freedom of navigation” posed by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, adding that this also has implications for global food security. He therefore welcomed “the efforts of Allies working to demine the Black Sea, making it safer for navigation and commerce.”

Stoltenberg also noted that the meeting with PM Kobakhidze would address the NATO-Georgia partnership and ways to develop it. In this regard, he welcomed the progress made in areas such as partnership such as crisis management, cybersecurity, military technology and secure communications.

SG Stoltenberg congratulated the Prime Minister on Georgia’s EU candidate status and stressed the importance of further reforms. “Now it is important for Georgia to continue and step up domestic reforms and uphold democratic values,” he said adding: “We want to see Georgia move in the right direction. Toward more democracy and prosperity. Toward full membership in the Euro-Atlantic family.”

PM Kobakhidze thanked NATO for its support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Georgia is one of the closest and most interoperable partners of the Alliance,” – said PM Kobakhidze, adding that his first foreign visit to Brussels is “another clear demonstration of the fact that we attach special importance to this partnership.”

PM Kobakhidze noted that Georgia has “significantly contributed to the shared Euro-Atlantic security,” referring to Georgia’s participation in NATO-led missions and operations.

“NATO has played a significant role in enhancing Georgia’s defense capabilities, increasing our interoperability with the Alliance,” – PM Kobakhidze said, adding that Georgia, for its part, has been “carrying out a comprehensive reform agenda and moving forward with [our] integration process despite the internal and external security challenges.”

Meeting between PM Kobakhidze and SG Stoltenberg

According to the government’s press release, the sides discussed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process. They noted the steps taken by Georgia on integration path. The discussions specifically focused on Black Sea security and its significance for the Euro-Atlantic security.

Prime Minister Kobakhidze thanked NATO’s Stoltenberg for his personal efforts in Georgia’s NATO integration process and for his support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The sides also addressed regional and global security issues.

“Great discussion with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, on NATO-Georgia partnership and Georgia’s integration journey. With Georgia’s significant progress, steadfast commitment and contributions to Euro-Atlantic security, we expect concrete political steps to welcome Georgia into NATO,” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

“Glad to welcome PM Kobakhidze to NATO. Georgia is a valued partner and we fully support its sovereignty and territorial integrity. I welcome Georgia’s support to Ukraine. I also count on Tbilisi to step up reforms on the path toward full membership in the Euro-Atlantic family,” – General Stoltenberg tweeted.

NATO-Georgia Commission meeting

PM Kobakhidze also participated in the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) meeting.

“Honored to participate in the NATO-Georgia Commission and voice Georgia’s steadfast determination on the path toward NATO membership. Over the years, we have successfully cooperated with NATO in various areas, and it is now time for these achievements to translate into tangible results,” – PM Kobakhidze tweeted.

The NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) was established in September 2008 to serve as a forum for both political consultation and practical cooperation to help Georgia achieve its goal of membership in NATO. The NGC aims to deepen political dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Georgia at all appropriate levels. It also supervises the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, when the Allies agreed that Georgia will become a NATO member.

Also Read

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


Back to top button