Updated: 19-Jun-2001 NATO Speeches

EAPC Meeting Budapest,
30 May 2001


by H.E. Mr. Giorgiburduli, First Deputy Foreign Minister
of Georgia

Long-term stability and security in Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area are best assured through cooperation. A wider cooperative security culture needs proper institutions where security problems are comprehensively discussed and consulted. At present, a number of complementary institutions in Europe makes an effort to build a future based on cooperative security. NATO has played its own role in this process, namely through the establishment of appropriate mechanisms such as NACC/EAPC and PfP. By doing so, the Atlantic Alliance laid the basis for a new, cooperative security structure, linking NATO and partners across Europe and indeed the whole Euro-Atlantic area.

But the issue is how we can make sure that, having the necessary institutions and tools in place, cooperative security works in practice? What kind of projects shall we launch and implement?

One of the recent examples in this regard is the outstanding Stability Pact. Herein, NATO has participated actively through its South-East Europe Initiative. Georgia welcomes the fact that the use of existing EAPC and enhanced PfP mechanisms also contributed to the objectives of the Stability Act, thus supporting the process of building a common security culture in Europe.

The nations working together in SFOR and KFOR offer another excellent practical example of cooperative security in action. In this regard, we share view that it is essential that the international involvement in Kosovo proves itself credible enough so that in future the EAPC states continue to work together on projects of cooperative security, while dealing with crises that may arise in Europe.

Georgia supports NATO enlargement and open door policy since we think that it: 1) is based on the supreme right of a sovereign state to choose its security environment; 2) enhances the stability and promotes the concept of cooperative security further to the east, remarkably closer to the extreme eastern part of Europe - South Caucasus. And for Georgia, the notion of cooperative security automatically includes the continuation of its foreign policy objective towards the ultimate integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

From Georgian point of view cooperative security in our continent additionally means the greater emphasis on the security problems of various regions in the Euro-Atlantic area. A new security agenda is not supposed to be limited to only Balkans although it deserves legitimate interest and attention.

In this regard, EAPC has already been involved in the discussions on regional security and cooperation issues, particularly in the Caucasus. We support this tendency since cooperative security in Europe implies the provision of security in all regions of the continent. And I think my colleagues will agree that these deliberations that have before now proved to be useful shall be further pursued and enhanced in various EAPC undertakings. Besides, the future agenda of EAPC might incorporate the situation in Central Asia, thus having closer look at the developments in this part of the Euro-Atlantic area.

All in all, we should strive to make the most use of EAPC's instruments to address the challenges to the regional stability, thus complementing the efforts of the other international institutions like UN, OSCE, EU, etc. The same applies to existing PfP tools. Let me assure you that Georgia, from its part, does and will continue to do its best in this regard. As an example I would specify the first PfP multinational exercise in the South Caucasus that will be hosted by Georgia next month.

Herewith, I would like to take this opportunity and commend yesterday's NAC Foreign Ministerial Communique which welcomes the Russian Federation's completion of the first phase of its Istanbul commitment to reduce and withdraw forces from Georgia. We too look for an early conclusion of the bilateral negotiations with Russia regarding the duration and modalities of the remaining Russian military bases. We count on the support of the EAPC community for the process.

Finally, let me express hope that with our joint political will, and with the practical ability to work together, we will meet our chief responsibility - to strengthen cooperative security and stability in whole Euro-Atlantic area.

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