No membership step for Georgia at NATO Wales Summit

Rasmussen said the package would offer “more support to bring Georgia closer to NATO”., 25 Jun 2014 - 17:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the NATO Summit in Wales in September "will not be about Membership Action Plan” (MAP) for Georgia.

But Rasmussen was confident "a substantive package” would be offered to Georgia, which would help it come closer to NATO.

At a news conference in Brussels, Rasmussen said the package would offer "more support to bring Georgia closer to NATO”.

Rasmussen and 28 Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Alliance are currently holding meetings in Brussels. He did not clarify the nature of the package and said he was unable to outline specifics of the package at this stage.

"It will be a substantive package. NATO member countries will work on that package in close collaboration with Georgia from now until the Summit,” Rasmussen added.

Earlier today, Rasmussen announced NATO had agreed in principle to offer "a substantive package” to Georgia while also highlighting the Alliance’s door remained open to new members.

The Secretary General believed the decision NATO took in Bucharest in 2008 still stood and "Georgia would become a member of NATO” one day, provided the country fulfilled all necessary conditions.

"And the package we will prepare for the Summit will bring Georgia closer to NATO,” Rasmussen added.

In recent years Rasmussen has several times mentioned that NATO stood behind the decision made at the Bucharest Summit in 2008, that the MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its "direct way to membership”. Georgia did not receive a MAP then but those at the Bucharest Summit pledged that Georgia will join NATO sometime in the future.

After German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Rasmussen was the second NATO official in recent months to clearly announce that granting Georgia a MAP would not be on the agenda at the September NATO Summit in Wales.

Merkel, after meeting Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in Berlin on June 2, said the achieved progress of Georgia as a NATO aspirant country should be praised at the international event.