NATO top official: “Georgia contributes substantially to Euro-Atlantic security”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the NATO Headquarters today. Photo: screenshot from NATO press conference video, 08 Jun 2016 - 18:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

NATO will further strengthen its package of support for Georgia at the Warsaw Summit next month.

The Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg hosted Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels this evening and told him of the Alliance’s plans for Georgia.

"Georgia is such a highly valued partner for NATO and our partnership is strong and it’s getting stronger,” the Secretary General told the President.

Stoltenberg thanked Margvelashvili for Georgia’s role in Allied operations, noting that "Georgian troops have been standing shoulder to shoulder with NATO for many years”.

He highlighted Georgia was the third-largest contributor to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

"Georgia has also carried out impressive defence reforms and you have put in place a more mature democracy. So Georgia has moved closer to NATO,” he added.

Stoltenberg stressed over the past two years Georgia and NATO had put in place a Substantial NATO-Georgia package of support to strengthen Georgia’s defensive capabilities.

The NATO top official believed the package implementation was well on track.

"I was very impressed by the implementation of the substantial NATO-Georgia package when I visited Georgia last year,” he said.
"I think it’s great to see that Georgian troops, NATO troops and troops of partner nations are exercising together in Georgia. That’s good for us, and it’s good for Georgia. And it is a strong expression of the strong support in NATO for Georgia and for our partnership.”

He stressed about 30 NATO experts were currently in Georgia helping the country’s ongoing defence reforms, with more contributions to come.

"So NATO is committed to continue helping you boost your security and carry out your reforms. And at the Warsaw Summit next month we will further strengthen our package of support for Georgia,” Stoltenberg told the Georgian President.

During their talks, the Stoltenberg and Margvelashvili also discussed Georgia’s progress in consolidating its democratic institutions, and the country’s ongoing efforts to strengthen rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

Stoltenberg welcomed Georgia’s "continuing reform efforts” and highlighted that NATO would continue to support Georgia in moving closer to the Alliance.