Turkey will initiate enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation at the next NATO Summit in Warsaw in 2016.
At a NATO ministerial in Antalya, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the next NATO Summit should consider accepting Georgia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Montenegro as new members of the Alliance.
We favour NATO expansion. Currently we have four candidate countries – Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Georgia. And we would like to see the 2016 Summit aimed at expansion,” Cavusoglu said.
Yesterday I exchanged information with US State Secretary Jon Kerry about Russia and Afghanistan’s operations. We discussed future plans too,’’ he said.
Georgia’s Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli commented on the Turkish Foreign Minister’s statement and thanked him for supporting the expansion of NATO.
He was my colleague in Strasbourg, at the Parliamentary Assembly and I am especially grateful to him for making this statement. Similar initiatives from NATO member countries and our partners are very important for us. This naturally gives us a cause for optimism,” Khidasheli said.
The Georgian Defence Minister highlighted that the country had more than a year to prepare for the next NATO Summit and in this time Georgia will adequately prepare for the event.
Beruchashvili said it was very important that Turkey, as a partner country of Georgia across various sectors such defence and security, supported Georgia as it aimed for NATO membership and had revealed "such a strong message" in this respect.
The meeting of the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers in Antalya was a great opportunity for Georgia to start conversations with our partners from the Alliance about Georgia’s plan at the NATO Summit in Warsaw. The statement about NATO extension made by the Foreign Minister of Turkey, where he expressed Turkey’s vision about NATO’s future enlargement, is very important and a strong message for us,” Beruchashvili said.
NATO Foreign Ministers met in Antalya, Turkey on May 13 and 14 to discuss new security challenges.
Under the Chairmanship of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Ministers assessed the implications of a more assertive Russia, and of the instability spreading across the Middle East and North Africa.
Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered a speech at the meeting held in the framework of the new NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan. There she met with 16 other Foreign Ministers and discussed Georgia’s integration with NATO, assistance of partner countries for the implementation of the Substantial Package offered by NATO to Georgia in Wales, and preparatory works for the next NATO Summit in Warsaw.