Deputy Secretary General Vershbow in Tbilisi: implementation of the Wales Summit decisions on Georgia is on track
At the end of a two-day visit to Georgia, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said that Georgia is a model for its region and a country that is an exporter of security. Speaking in a press conference after a meeting with President Giorgi Margeslashvili, Ambassador Vershbow said that Georgia is well on its way towards realising its sovereign choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The Deputy Secretary General reaffirmed Allies' support to Georgia' sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. He also praised Georgia as an exporter of security through its contributions to operations and missions of NATO and the European Union.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow and Minister of Defence of Georgia, Mindia Janelidze
Ambassador Vershbow also met with Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and discussed the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, including preparations to establish a Joint Training and Evaluation Centre in Georgia. He said that Centre will help Georgia to reform, modernise and strengthen the security and defence sector and expressed hope to have the Centre operational this year. The Deputy Secretary General urged Georgia to continue with democratic reforms, to uphold the rule of law and to improve the independence and professionalism of the judiciary.
In Tbilisi the NATO Deputy Secretary General also addressed the Atlantic Council of Georgia. He highlighted that the Alliance agreed a Substantial NATO-Georgia Package at the Wales Summit in September with a range of measures that are aimed both at helping Georgia look after its own security, and to move Georgia closer to NATO membership.
“The decision that NATO leaders took at an earlier Summit, in Bucharest in 2008, still stands: your country will become a member of NATO, provided that it meets all the necessary requirements”, Ambassador Vershbow said. “Since we took that decision in Bucharest seven years ago, successive Georgian governments have implemented ambitious reforms and made good use of the NATO-Georgia Commission and our Annual National Programme. NATO Allies welcome the democratic development of your country, and the modernisation of your military forces and your defence institutions."
During the visit, the NATO Deputy Secretary General also met with First Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs David Dondua, with the Minister of Defence Mindia Janelidze, with the State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze, with the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia David Usupashvili, representatives of opposition parties and with His Holiness and Beatitude, Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of All Georgia. He also visited the Vasiani Training Centre.