Opening Remarks by General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee
at the NATO Military Committee meeting in Permanent Session with Georgia
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to offer a warm welcome to all of you for the first Military Committee with Georgia meeting in permanent session in 2014 and the first ever Military Committee meeting in Georgia.
In particular, I would like to welcome our Georgian partners and guest speakers from the Georgian Ministry of Defence, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and present Defence Attaches. It is great to have you here today. On behalf of the Military Committee, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Georgian CHOD, Major-General Vakhtang KAPANADZE, for his kind invitation to Tbilisi and for Georgia’s unique hospitality.
The Military Committee is grateful for the opportunity to get a first-hand look at Georgia’s significant steps in transforming its security and defence sector, and to learn about Georgian culture and traditions.
NATO welcomes Georgia’s commitment to their military reforms, reinforcing our dialogue, practical cooperation and the improving military to military interoperability with NATO military forces.
I would like to underline that NATO views Georgia as an extremely reliable military partner and that our cooperation is characterised by open and honest dialogue. We thank Georgia for its significant contribution to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, and its commitment to contribute to the NATO Response Force.
I would like to encourage our Georgian colleagues to continue to maintain the high level of practical military cooperation that is essential in sustaining our excellent relationship.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we have got an ambitious agenda for today’s meeting which is displayed on the screen:
Item 1 Georgian Security and Defence Transformation and Contribution to Euro-Atlantic Security
Item 2 Prospects of NATO-Georgia Military Cooperation
Item 3 Georgia’s (pre-planned) Contributions to NATO-led Operations and Missions
Item 4 Any Other Business
Does anyone have any comments on the agenda?
I see there are none, so let us now move to Item 1.