Georgian Defence Minister meets with NATO counterparts at Brussels headquarters

Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria is in Brussels, where he has been holding bilateral meetings ahead of todays’s NATO-Georgia Commission meeting. Photo by MOD Georgia, 16 Feb 2017 - 10:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Defence Minister Levan Izoria met with his Romanian and Lithuanian counterparts ahead of the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting scheduled for later today.

At the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting held under the NATO Defence Ministerial, the ministers will assess the security situation in Georgia and review the government’s ongoing reforms.

Georgia’s role in Black Sea security as an aspiring NATO member was among the issues Izoria discussed with the Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel-Beniamin Les yesterday.

Izoria said Georgia’s practical engagement in Black Sea security is of great importance for the country. He said although his country already participates in strategic discussions, now it is time for its practical engagement.

The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) was among the issues Izoria discussed with the Lithuanian Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis.

The SNGP is a set of initiatives aimed at strengthening Georgia’s defence capabilities and developing closer security cooperation and interoperability with NATO members.

Karoblis expressed his readiness to contribute to strengthening the defence capacity of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF).

Izoria will hold bilateral meetings with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kenneth Handelman and defence ministers of Turkey, the United Kingdom and Latvia later today.

Defence ministers of NATO began preparations with two-days of talks in Brussels yesterday, which will focus on ensuring NATO’s strength and flexibility in the face of evolving challenges.

Minister Izoria said Georgia, as the only non-NATO member country, has "an honour” to present its ongoing reforms, count on support from the NATO member states and demonstrate its political readiness and motivation to receive NATO membership .

At yesterday’s press conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said "we have established comprehensive packages in support of Georgia and Ukraine”.

Defence is not just about what we do at home. It is as much about what happens beyond our borders. So we have agreed to strengthen our contributions to projecting stability”, he said.

Per the official NATO website, "NATO remains strongly committed to helping Georgia improve its defence capabilities and advance on its path towards NATO membership”.