Rasmussen: "Report on Georgia pays tribute to the positive achievements of past years"

Georgian MFA met Rasmussen right before a working dinner which touched Alliance’s Open Door Policy. Photo by Georgia's MFA
Agenda.ge, 25 Jun 2014 - 04:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

A NATO high official has unleashed his positive views of Georiga-NATO relations on Twitter after meeting Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The Georgian official, Minister Maia Panjikidze, was invited with other NATO aspirant countries to attend a two-day meeting of the Alliance’s 28 Foreign Ministers, which started on Tuesday.

There, she met NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who tweeted his positive assessments about NATO-Georgia relations on his official Twitter page.

NATO’s support to Ukraine and the implications of Russia’s actions, the future of Afghanistan and preparations for the NATO Summit in Wales in September topped the agenda of the two-day meeting.

Ministers also reviewed the progress of four countries who aspire to join NATO: Georgia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Macedonia.

The ministerial event started with a working dinner which touched on the Summit agenda, notably the Alliance’s Open Door Policy and the progress of the four countries who want NATO membership.

Georgia's Foreign Minister met NATO’s Secretary General immediately before the dinner. After her meeting, she said while speaking with Rasmussen, she once again outlined that Georgia's expectations and ambitions are to become a NATO member and implement "integrative steps on its way to membership”.

"At the meeting I stressed that we have an expectation adequate to our progress and our right to have such anticipation and that the steps made forward on the way to integration is important for us," Panjikidze added.

She said Rasmussen "abosolutely agreed” that Georgia had made significant progress in recent years and that it should be adequately praised from the Alliance.

On his side, Rasmussen tweeted: "We appreciate Georgia's support to ISAF mission and future Resolute Support in Afghanistan."

He also said: It’s good that Georgia wants to participate in key elements of future NATO Resolute Support Connected Forces & Smart Defence."

His Twitter page was full of activity, as he later wrote that each NATO aspirant country was reviewed individually and the "report on Georgia pays tribute to the positive achievements of past years".

He stated Georgia’s free, fair and inclusive elections were another step forward "in a maturing democracy”.

"NATO stands ready to support & assist Georgia in their ambitious defense reforms," read his latest Georgia-related tweet.

Meanwhile, Georgia's chances of receiving a MAP (Membership Action Plan) at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales has become a talking point, with Reuters citing NATO diplomats claiming Alliance member countries were unlikely to grant Georgia a formal step towards membership of the Alliance at the September Summit.

"NATO appears likely to settle on a compromise by giving Georgia a package of ‘reinforced cooperation’ with NATO that would fall short of MAP. This package could include measures such as closer political cooperation, training the Georgian Armed Forces and strengthening NATO's liaison office in Georgia,” Reuters wrote.

The Alliance Ministers will conclude their talks with a meeting about Afghanistan with ISAF partners, including Georgia. The Foreign Ministers are expected to endorse the operations plan for the NATO-led post-2014 mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces.