30 Oct 2014 - 12:51
Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will go to NATO headquarters in Brussels next month to discuss the substantial NATO-Georgia package at a meeting with newly-appointed Norwegian NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Stoltenberg, who took charge on October 1, announced during a speech at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels on Wednesday that he expected to meet Georgia’s PM "quite soon” to talk about the package adopted at the September NATO Summit in Wales.
"I'm going to meet with the prime minister of Georgia quite soon to discuss the implementation of the follow-up of this comprehensive package for Georgia,” Stoltenberg said.
Today, Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze confirmed the meeting would take place on November 17 in Brussels in the framework of the first Georgia-EU Association Council.
Meanwhile during Stoltenberg’s speech at the German Marshall Fund, the EU envoy was asked by a foreign journalist if a Membership Action Plan (MAP) will be offered to Georgia; "Or you will continue this endless deeper and deeper integration? And if existing territorial conflicts will affect this perspective. Or will you avoid [NATO’s] presence in the South Caucasus because of Russia?,” the journalist asked.
Stoltenberg responded that NATO’s open-door policy had been a great success and Georgia was a very "strong partner”.
"I was present at the Summit in Bucharest where we decided on Georgia. And my responsibility now as Secretary General is that we are implementing the comprehensive package we have agreed on,” he said.
"In addition, I would like to underline that Georgia is really a strong partner. And Georgia has participated in many NATO operations. They have provided valuable contributions to our operations in Afghanistan. And I also welcome the reforms, the progress that Georgia has made, especially related to their armed forces.”
The NATO leader underlined that the Alliance would continue to work together with Georgia to implement the package the country was offered in Wales.
Stoltenberg also reaffirmed that Georgia would become a member of NATO.
"The way we should move forward is to stick to what we have decided. And I was present at the Summit in Bucharest in 2008 when we decided... to state that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of NATO,” he said.
Last week NATO decided to publically release an introduction to the Substantial NATO-GEORGIA Package. In particularly the first three points of the introduction to the document were published.