NATO envoy discusses “next steps” to bring Georgia closer to Alliance

Appathurai during the meeting with the State Minister of EU-NATO Aleksi Petriashvili. Photo by, 01 May 2014 - 20:16, Tbilisi,Georgia

A NATO regional representative is in Tbilisi to discuss ways to bring Georgia closer to the international Alliance.

NATO Deputy Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia region, James Appathurai, has spent the day speaking with Georgian authorities about "the next steps to bring Georgia even closer to the Alliance”.

After meeting with Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Appathurai said in the lead up to NATO foreign ministerial meeting in late June and the Summit in September in Wales, the Alliance was now assessing progress made by NATO aspirant countries, including Georgia.

"I praised the reforms implemented by the local Government recently and discussed how this progress could be reflected in NATO’s future decisions,” Appathurai said.

He also said Georgia had laid all the foundation and should be proud about the reforms and the country’s contribution to international peace and security, after meeting with the State Ministry of Europe and Euro Atlantic Integration Aleksi Petriashvili.

After his earlier meeting with the Prime Minister, Appathurai took to Facebook and said:

"Georgian Government has clear, well-defined vision of this country's future: as part of the Euro-Atlantic family of nations (EU and NATO tracks). Very satisfied with discussions today on the way forward, and what Ukraine means for the future of European security.”

PM Garibashvili believed Georgia, as an aspirant country, expected to step forward into NATO integration, which would support the democratic development of the country.