NATO Parliamentary Assembly session kicks off in Tbilisi

In the history of NATO, there have been only 4 cases when a session was held in a non-member country and today all of those 4 are NATO members. Photo:, 26 May 2017 - 12:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

The spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) has officially kicked off in Georgia’s capital of Tbilisi today.

This is the first time Georgia is hosting a NATO PA session.

In the history of NATO, there have been only four cases when a session was held in a non-member country and today all of those four are already NATO members. Thus, Georgia ascribes great importance to this event.

The session was opened with a joint press conference by NATO PA President Paolo Alli, NATO PA Secretary General David Hobbs, Georgia Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and Head of the Georgian Delegation to the NATO PA Irakli Sesiashvili. They stressed the importance of Georgia for security and stability in the region and world.

"Stability and security in Georgia is very important for stability in the region, and the stability in this region is very important for all western countries. By protecting and supporting Georgia and its territorial integrity, we protect our countries too. This is the reason why we decided to come here”, President Alli said.
"Normally, NATO PAs are not held in non-NATO countries. This is happening only for the fifth time in our history, so this our way to say that we feel responsible for Georgia on its path to reforms”.

Kobakhidze said that becoming a member of NATO is a choice of the Georgian people and NATO.

The session brings together in Tbilisi some 300 parliamentarians from the 28 NATO member countries from North America and Europe as well as delegates from partner countries and observers to discuss current international security issues and the reports prepared by the Assembly’s Committees.

Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May will be devoted to the meetings of the NATO PA’s five Committees: Political, Defence and Security, Science and Technology, Civil Dimension of Security and Economics and Security. Each Committee will be addressed by speakers from government, academia, NGO’s and NATO.

The Plenary Session on Monday 29 May will be addressed by NATO PA President Paolo Alli, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Rose Gottemoeller and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine Andriy Parubiy.

The opening of the NATO PA spring session coincided with another big event for Georgia - the country's Independence Day.