29 May 2017 - 14:10
NATO Parliamentarians have adopted a declaration in support of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic integration at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Tbilisi today.
The document declares that Georgia’s relationship with the alliance contains all practical tools to prepare for eventual membership, while taking note of the position of allied leaders that Georgia will become a member of NATO through the Membership Action Plan (MAP) as an integral part of the process.
The declaration commends the "consistent and significant progress” made by Georgia in further consolidating its democracy, improving the transparency of its institutions and fostering economic development, saying Georgia sets a "very positive example” for the entire region.
It adds that further efforts are needed to bolster the rule of law and the system of checks and balances, ensure media pluralism and reduce political polarization.
The document also says that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is impressed by the high level of continuous support for Euro-Atlantic integration among the people and main political parties in Georgia.
In the document, it is stressed that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders and condemns the continuous illegal occupation of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia, "grave large-scale” violations of human rights in the occupied regions, restrictions of freedom of movement across the Administrative Boundary Line, the continued violation of a six-point ceasefire agreement by the Russian Federation and steps taken towards the de facto annexation of these regions by Russia as well as extensive military build-up in these territories, which pose a serious threat to broader regional peace and security.
The declaration calls upon Russia to reverse the recognition of Georgia’s occupied regions as independent states and withdraw its military forces from these territories.
In the declaration, the Assembly urges NATO governments to advance the political dimension of Georgia’s NATO integration, to create the conditions to grant a Membership Action Plan that would prepare it for joining the Alliance.
It calls for intensified efforts to support Georgia, including through joint exercises, strengthening defensive capabilities and enhancing its ability to tackle hybrid threats such as propaganda and disinformation campaigns.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly says that today’s adoption of the declaration is a strong statement of support for democratic and sovereign Georgia whose future lies in NATO.