Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council with the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili

  • 08 Sep. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 08 Sep. 2016 14:00

(As delivered)

So, welcome, it’s good to see you all here.

And let me first of all thank the President for hosting us and for arranging this meeting and for an excellent program for all of us and the whole North Atlantic Council in Georgia yesterday and today.

And I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Georgia on 25 years of independence.

The North Atlantic Council’s visit to Georgia – yesterday and today – sends a very important message. About the strong friendship between

NATO and Georgia. And our deep appreciation of Georgia’s exceptional contribution to NATO’s operation in Afghanistan.

Georgia’s armed forces have made substantial sacrifices for our shared Euro-Atlantic security. And we are very grateful for that.

The visit and our meetings here underscore NATO’s full support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Support that we re-stated formally at our Summit in Warsaw in July.

As an aspirant for NATO membership, Georgia has made impressive progress on fundamental reforms.  Strengthening the rule of law, including judicial reforms. Moving forward with key reforms in the defence and security sector. And developing a more mature democracy. And we trust that the elections next month will meet the highest democratic standards.

NATO encourages Georgia to continue to make progress on all of these important reforms. And we pledge that NATO will continue to work closely with Georgia to help prepare your country for NATO membership.

Once again, Mr. President, thank you for your hospitality. And for your strong leadership in support of the friendship between Georgia and NATO.

And now, Mr. President, I pass the floor to you.