7 Jul 2016 - 16:15
A Georgian delegation led by President Giorgi Margvelashvili is on its way to Poland to participate in the 28th North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Summit, which is scheduled to take place over the next two days.
This afternoon the Georgian delegation departed for Warsaw, Poland.
As well as President Margvelashvili, the delegation included Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration David Bakradze, head of the National Security Council Irine Imerlishvili and other officials.
More than 50 official delegations will participate in the Summit. This includes all 28 NATO allies, Montenegro, whose accession to NATO is currently in the ratification process, 26 partner countries and representatives from the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
About 2,500 official delegates and 2,000 media representatives are also expected to attend.
Tomorrow, on the first day of the event President Margvelashvili will deliver a speech at a meeting about Afghanistan to other heads of state or government officials. Later the same day he will attend an official dinner honouring the top representatives of NATO partner states.
The following day Georgia’s Foreign Minister will attend a meeting of the NATO – Georgia Commission at the level of foreign ministers. Later that night Janelidze will attend an official dinner for foreign ministers of NATO member and partner states.
Also on July 9, the final day of the Summit, Georgia’s Khidasheli will participate in an Interoperability Platform Meeting for all defence ministers of NATO members and partner states.
The Georgian Ministers were also scheduled to hold several bilateral meetings during the NATO Summit.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who will not attend the NATO Summit, said the two-day event was "crucial” for Georgia and the country had high expectations of the international seminar.
Georgia expects further expansion of the Georgia-NATO Substantial Package and reaffirmation that the 2008 Bucharest Summit declaration remains in force and Georgia will become a NATO member state,” he said today.
We also expect reaffirmation of the progress achieved by Georgia in this area in terms of embracing military reforms and increasing interoperability with NATO military units, as well as in the context of strengthening democracy. That is crucial and represents reconfirmation of the 2015 Ministerial decision that Georgia has all the necessary tools to join the Alliance.”
Kvirikashvili said: "The Warsaw Summit is a crucial event for us. We consider that after the Summit, Georgia-NATO Substantial Package will expand even more thus bringing a higher degree of security in Georgia and increasing our country's defensibility."
The first NATO Summit was held in December 1957 while the last one was held in Wales, United Kingdom, in September 2014.
At that Wales Summit Georgia was granted a Substantial Package, which was a set of tools and action to boost Georgia’s self-defence capabilities and enhance Georgia’s ties with the Alliance.
This year’s Summit is the first time it will be hosted in Poland and the first to be chaired by current NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.