NATO: We remain open for our partners

NATO Foreign Ministers are exploring new ways before next year’s NATO Warsaw Summit to make a good offer to Georgia on its path to NATO. Photo by the Defence Ministry of Georgia., 02 Dec 2015 - 14:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) claims it remains committed to its open-door policy and is encouraging its partners to continue implementing necessary reforms to prepare for Alliance membership.

NATO Foreign Ministers met today in Brussels, Belgium, for the two-day NATO Ministerial and stated the Alliance would welcome new members, should they meet the criteria.

To back up the statement, NATO offered an invitation to Montenegro to start accession talks to become the 29th member of the Alliance - something the country has strived for since 2009.

At the 2008 Bucharest Summit we agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) as an integral part of the process; today we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions,” the Foreign Ministers’ statement read.

Following the lead, the NATO Ministers encouraged Georgia to continue making full use of all the opportunities to move closer to the Alliance offered by the NATO-Georgia Commission, the Annual National Programme, its role as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, its participation in NATO Defence Capacity Building Initiative and the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.

The NATO officials praised Georgia for its democratic reforms and commitment to NATO peacekeeping missions, and promised to support the country strengthen its defence capabilities and advance itself as a NATO member country.

As we prepare for the Warsaw Summit, we will explore new, practical ways to intensify efforts including through high-level political dialogue and increased cooperation, including in defence and strategic communications,” the NATO Foreign Ministers emphasised.

The organisation again reiterated its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and condemned Russia’s occupying actions in Georgia’s de facto regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

Commenting on  the declaration NATO Secretary General  Jens Stoltenberg stressed that the Alliance was  "as committed as ever to the membership aspirations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." 

NATO’s door is open.  Today’s decision is proof of that..Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are also making progress towards NATO membership.We remain as committed as ever to the membership aspirations of these countries.
We will do everything we can to assist them in achieving their goals, judging each aspirant country on its own merits," Stoltenberg said. 

Prior to the Ministerial Georgia’s Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli said NATO’s offer to Montenegro would be a hint to Georgia; a signal whether the Alliance was ready to enlarge or not.