16 Feb 2017 - 16:05
A meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission on the ministerial defense level has just come to a conclusion in Brussels, where Georgia’s security situation was reviewed and discussed at length.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in today’s opening remarks that the ministers would assess the "challenges in and around the Black Sea and in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of Georgia”.
NATO remains strongly committed to Georgia’s security and territorial integrity”, Stoltenberg said.
He further noted that "today’s meeting is a clear signal of our commitment”.
We are concerned by Russia’s deepening relations with the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia. We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of these regions and to withdraw its forces from Georgia”, he said.
Discussion of Georgia’s progress on defence reforms, including the Strategic Defence Review and the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP), were also on the agenda of today’s meeting as Stoltenberg had announced.
At a press conference held after the meeting Stoltenberg said "Georgia is making good progress working closely with NATO teams to implement the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package”, which he believes "builds on our existing achievements”.
He believes "this is designed to help Georgia improve its defence capabilities and advance on its path toward NATO membership”.
We will continue to work together and to provide the practical tools to help Georgia advance toward eventual NATO membership”, he also noted.
Minister Izoria said earlier yesterday that Georgia, as the only non-NATO member country, has "an honour” to present its ongoing reforms, count on support from the NATO member states and demonstrate its political readiness and motivation to receive NATO membership.
Prior to the NATO-Georgia Commission, Minister Izoria met with US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kenneth Handelman.
Minister Izoria said despite Georgia’s "balanced politics”, Russia still creates threats to its security. The Minister hopes that the new US administration will continue to show "stronger and practical support” to Georgia to hinder Russia’s aggressive politics.
The Georgian Ministry of Defence further announced that the parties also spoke about opening a joint training centre in Georgia that would strengthen Georgia’s security and be "yet another step forward” on Georgia’s path towards inclusion in NATO.