by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the joint press point with the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili
Thank you President Margvelashvili for your warm welcome and for receiving me and my delegation.
I am very glad to be in Tbilisi.
My visit here today reflects the importance we attach to the relationship between Georgia and NATO.
A relationship that is getting closer and that is getting deeper.
First and foremost, Georgia is a strong and reliable contributor to our shared security.
Georgia is playing a significant role in our operations, notably in Afghanistan.
I would like to thank you, and the Georgian people, for commitment and for your sacrifice.
Georgia has proven itself to be a reliable contributor to international security.
Georgia is also an example, in the region and beyond, of carrying out democratic reforms.
This shows your commitment to being part of the Euro-Atlantic community, the Euro-Atlantic family – a family which shares values.
Those reforms, and the contributions to international security, are also helping Georgia prepare for NATO membership.
NATO is helping in those efforts.
Through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package adopted last year, we have increased our joint training and exercises, to be able to work together even more effectively.
NATO experts are in Georgia to help strengthen your defence capabilities.
Providing advice on planning, education and cyber security.
We have just inaugurated the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre.
This is an important step forward.
It is not directed against anybody. On the contrary, the centre will be important to improve regional and international stability.
The Centre will help improve the skills of Georgian security forces.
And, it will allow Allies and partners to train side by side.
These are commitments we made together.
And they are all on track and on time.
They are also helping Georgia prepare for NATO membership.
There is still work to do. But Georgia has made remarkable progress.
NATO will continue to stand by Georgia.
And we follow closely what is happening in your country.
Russia’s latest actions to move the administrative boundary line of the South Ossetia region of Georgia are yet another breach of Russia’s international commitments.
Allies remain fully committed to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, within its internationally recognised borders.
Let me conclude by thanking you, once again, Mr. President for our excellent discussions.
I look forward to working with Georgia.
To further deepen our close cooperation.
And to help Georgia continue to work to meet the standards of NATO membership. Thank you.