NATO Defence Ministers confirm Georgia is moving closer to NATO
NATO Defence Ministers confirmed enduring support for Georgia’s ambitious reform path in a ministerial meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission on Thursday (11 February 2016).<!IoRangePreExecute>
“Georgia is moving closer to NATO thanks to its reforms, and to its significant contributions to our shared security”, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. Meeting with Georgian Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, ministers reviewed progress on NATO’s Substantial Package of support to Georgia and discussed how to intensify the Alliance’s support.
The Secretary General underlined that NATO’s Substantial Package is strengthening Georgia’s defences and its ability to work side-by-side with NATO forces.
“In May, our Joint Training Centre in Tbilisi will start training the first Georgian company. This is good news”, he noted.
Defence Ministers also discussed Georgia’s domestic political and security reforms, which are bringing the country closer to NATO. They welcomed Georgia’s efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions, and stressed the need for continued progress in key areas of reform, including the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. The Secretary General also confirmed Allies’ full support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, within its internationally recognised borders.
“We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia as independent states. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia”, he said.
The Secretary General reaffirmed that NATO is committed to helping Georgia move towards membership in the Alliance. “Our commitment to Georgia is strong. We help building Georgia’s defences. We encourage its reforms, and we support its Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.