|Updated: 29-Nov-2005||NATO Speeches|
28 Nov . 2005
Meeting of the Council with Georgian Prime Minister Noghaideli on Monday, 28 November 2005
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER (Secretary General of NATO): Good morning. Today we have an opportunity for an exchange of views with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Zurab Noghaideli. Prime Minister, I believe that this is your first visit to NATO Headquarters. Welcome.
Georgia just celebrated the 2nd Anniversary of the Rose Revolution, and for that I congratulate you, Prime Minister.
Your country is a close and active Partner of NATO and our relationship has steadily strengthened over the years. Just last year Georgia became the first Partner with whom we have adopted an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP). This is a robust programme of cooperation, and provides a strong framework in which we can openly exchange views and jointly work towards the process of reform in Georgia .
Under IPAP Georgia has committed itself to undertake ambitious reforms, and has established a good mechanism to steer and coordinate the reform programme. But there is much more work to do, in particular in the field of defence reform. A transparent, affordable, sound and democratically controlled defence system is vital to the success of the reforms.
We welcome the Euro-Atlantic direction of Georgia . But let me underline that the future evolution of the relationship between NATO and Georgia will depend critically on the thorough implementation of reforms.
Let me also thank Georgia for its contributions to the Alliance ’s operations. We greatly appreciate Georgia ’s earlier contribution to ISAF, its current participation in KFOR and offer to contribute to Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean .
Mr Prime Minister, I pass you the floor for your public remarks.
NOGHAIDELI: Thank you. Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary General and Ambassadors. I'm really proud to be here in NATO Headquarters. Several years ago, 20 years ago, when studying in Moscow State University I could not certainly imagine that I would be representing my country in NATO Headquarters.
For Georgia Euro-Atlantic integration, Euro-Atlantic aspirations, is top of foreign policy priority. And I'm really glad and proud to be here, and we will be presenting to you for your attention and information the reforms in Georgia , including the military reforms, and looking forward to comments from your side.
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Thank you Prime Minister. May I now ask the press to leave?