MFA Zalkaliani Attends the NATO Summit 2019 in London

The United Kingdom is hosting NATO Heads of State and Government in London on 3-4 December. David Zalikiani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, made a speech during a session dedicated to safety in the territories of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

“Without stability near the Black Sea, the stability of the NATO area cannot be ensured,” he said.

While underlying the importance and challenges to stability in the Black Sea region, Zalkaliani underlined Russia’s destructive policies and the outcomes of occupation, highlighting the Vazha Gaprindashvili case as a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

“The human rights and security situation on the ground remain extremely difficult. People are being persecuted and illegally detained. The famous Georgian doctor Vazha Gaprindashvili still remains in illegal custody. We have already consolidated the international community over this fact and still continue to do so. We are faced with the humanitarian catastrophe” –  MFA Zalkaliani said.

Zalkaliani also underlined Georgia’s readiness to officially join NATO and said that the country is looking forward to the moment this political decision made by the organization.

“The Bucharest Summit decision clearly indicated that Georgia will become a member of NATO. All documents and declarations adopted following the Bucharest Summit reaffirm support for Georgia’s membership of NATO. We are fully aware of the existing situation and the fact that political decision has not yet been taken. However, we are effectively implementing all practical instruments that lead us to membership. Georgia is already acting as an ally. We are doing our utmost to bring the country to the moment when it is ready for membership. Georgia’s contribution to NATO needs to be reciprocated by NATO,” Zalkaliani said, adding that Georgia is closely working with all partners and is taking active steps to prepare the country for its ultimate membership.

The MFA ended his speech with a musical reference: “Keep Georgia on your mind,” Zalkaliani urged the attendees of the summit, connecting the country to Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell’s 1930 hit song. The closing of his remarks was greeted with applause.

December 4 marks the second of the NATO 2019 Summit in London.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: MFA Georgia.

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