NATO: Georgia Should Use All Practical Tools to Prepare for Eventual Membership
Foreign Ministers of NATO countries released a statement today concerning the alliance’s open door policy.
The declaration says, at the 2008 Bucharest Summit NATO agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO with MAP as an integral part of the process.
“Today we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions. We welcome the significant progress realised since 2008. Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance contains all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership. We encourage Georgia to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to the Alliance offered by the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Programme, its role as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, its participation in our Defence Capacity Building Initiative and the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package.”
According to the statement, the alliance welcome the important progress made in implementing the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, including the start of joint exercises, the inauguration of the Joint Training and Evaluation Centre, which helps strengthen Georgia’s self-defence and resilience capabilities.
“We underline the importance of Georgian ownership of this process for a sustained and comprehensive approach to implementation, together with the Alliance. We will continue to provide the resources needed to implement the Substantial Package, which aims to strengthen Georgia’s capabilities and, thereby, helps Georgia advance in its preparations for membership in the Alliance. As we prepare for the Warsaw summit, we will explore new, practical ways to intensify efforts including through high-level political dialogue and increased co-operation, including in defence and strategic communications.”
NATO recognizes Georgia’s efforts to strengthen its democracy, including to reform the judiciary and security services, and to modernise its military forces and defence institutions.
“Bearing in mind recent developments on media freedom and rule of law, we encourage Georgia to sustain momentum in its overall reform efforts, which we will continue to support. NATO highly appreciates Georgia’s contributions to the NATO Response Force and our operations in Afghanistan and recognizes the sacrifices and contributions the Georgian people have made to our shared security.”
“We reiterate our support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. We welcome Georgia’s commitment not to use force and call on Russia to reciprocate. We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states and to withdraw its forces from Georgia,” the statement said.
“NATO does not recognize the so-called treaties signed between the Georgian region of Abkhazia and Russia in November 2014, and the South Ossetia region of Georgia and Russia in March 2015. These violate Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly contradict the principles of international law, OSCE principles and Russia’s international commitments. We encourage all participants in the Geneva talks to play a constructive role, as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, the UN, and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the internationally recognized territory of Georgia.”
“As we have made clear again with our decision today, we remain committed to the Open Door policy, a founding principle of the Washington Treaty. We encourage partners to continue to implement the necessary reforms and decisions to prepare for membership, and we will continue to offer political and practical support to their efforts. The orientations we have given today fulfill the Wales summit tasking on Montenegro and provide guidance for other aspirants, with a view to the Warsaw summit. We look to them to take the steps necessary to advance their aspirations. Our decisions will remain based on these considerations.”
Full text available here
Photo: NATO website.
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