H.E. Mr. Giorgiburduli, First Deputy Foreign Minister
Long-term stability and security in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area
are best assured through cooperation. A wider cooperative security culture
needs proper institutions where security problems are comprehensively
discussed and consulted. At present, a number of complementary institutions
in Europe makes an effort to build a future based on cooperative security.
NATO has played its own role in this process, namely through the establishment
of appropriate mechanisms such as NACC/EAPC and PfP. By doing so, the
Atlantic Alliance laid the basis for a new, cooperative security structure,
linking NATO and partners across Europe and indeed the whole Euro-Atlantic
But the issue is how we can make sure that, having the necessary institutions
and tools in place, cooperative security works in practice? What kind
of projects shall we launch and implement?
One of the recent examples in this regard is the outstanding Stability
Pact. Herein, NATO has participated actively through its South-East Europe
Initiative. Georgia welcomes the fact that the use of existing EAPC and
enhanced PfP mechanisms also contributed to the objectives of the Stability
Act, thus supporting the process of building a common security culture
The nations working together in SFOR and KFOR offer another excellent
practical example of cooperative security in action. In this regard, we
share view that it is essential that the international involvement in
Kosovo proves itself credible enough so that in future the EAPC states
continue to work together on projects of cooperative security, while dealing
with crises that may arise in Europe.
Georgia supports NATO enlargement and open door policy since we think
that it: 1) is based on the supreme right of a sovereign state to choose
its security environment; 2) enhances the stability and promotes the concept
of cooperative security further to the east, remarkably closer to the
extreme eastern part of Europe - South Caucasus. And for Georgia, the
notion of cooperative security automatically includes the continuation
of its foreign policy objective towards the ultimate integration into
the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
From Georgian point of view cooperative security in our continent additionally
means the greater emphasis on the security problems of various regions
in the Euro-Atlantic area. A new security agenda is not supposed to be
limited to only Balkans although it deserves legitimate interest and attention.
In this regard, EAPC has already been involved in the discussions on
regional security and cooperation issues, particularly in the Caucasus.
We support this tendency since cooperative security in Europe implies
the provision of security in all regions of the continent. And I think
my colleagues will agree that these deliberations that have before now
proved to be useful shall be further pursued and enhanced in various EAPC
undertakings. Besides, the future agenda of EAPC might incorporate the
situation in Central Asia, thus having closer look at the developments
in this part of the Euro-Atlantic area.
All in all, we should strive to make the most use of EAPC's instruments
to address the challenges to the regional stability, thus complementing
the efforts of the other international institutions like UN, OSCE, EU,
etc. The same applies to existing PfP tools. Let me assure you that Georgia,
from its part, does and will continue to do its best in this regard. As
an example I would specify the first PfP multinational exercise in the
South Caucasus that will be hosted by Georgia next month.
Herewith, I would like to take this opportunity and commend yesterday's
NAC Foreign Ministerial Communique which welcomes the Russian Federation's
completion of the first phase of its Istanbul commitment to reduce and
withdraw forces from Georgia. We too look for an early conclusion of the
bilateral negotiations with Russia regarding the duration and modalities
of the remaining Russian military bases. We count on the support of the
EAPC community for the process.
Finally, let me express hope that with our joint political will, and
with the practical ability to work together, we will meet our chief responsibility
- to strengthen cooperative security and stability in whole Euro-Atlantic