by NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller at the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission with Archil Talakvadze, Parliament Chairman and members of the Georgian Parliament
It’s a pleasure to be here in Batumi to discuss how to enhance NATO-Georgia cooperation and it is an honour to meet with the leadership of your parliament and have the opportunity to exchange views on your important developments and reforms in that regard.
We have just visited the port of Batumi where we saw Georgia’s new maritime capabilities and learned about the Georgian Coast Guard’s cooperation with NATO.
NATO provides both practical and political support to Georgia’s ongoing domestic and defense sector reforms.
There has been substantial progress in terms of strengthening democracy, boosting economic growth, and modernizing your defense forces and institutions.
But the pace and progress of reform must continue - To strengthen Georgia’s resilience, ability to work alongside NATO Allies, and to prepare, importantly, for NATO membership.
This will require courage and conviction, a whole of society approach, and for parliamentarians on both sides of the aisle to work together.
Representing all Georgian people, parliamentarians play an important role in Georgia’s aspirations and efforts, and in ensuring that Georgia remains a leader in the region in terms of reforms.
And may I just say, as I mentioned to the Speaker a moment ago, that we are always so glad to have Georgia present at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly where they are extremely enthusiastic participants and ask some of the most difficult questions.
So, with that, Mister Speaker, the floor is yours.
[THE SPEAKERS SPEAKS]
Thank you very much, mister Chairman. And thank you for acknowledging our NATO 70th Anniversary which is taking place this year in 2019. You are quite right, we are celebrating all year long so I consider this NGC session here in Georgia, our fifth NAC visit to Georgia, to be part of that 70th Anniversary celebration. Thank you for that.
This concludes the public part of this meeting. I thank the media for being here. And we will continue in a moment.