Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili has awarded NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller with the order of the Golden Fleece for her “particular merit” to Georgia, stating that the “award is symbolic that NATO-Georgia cooperation will continue, strengthen further and lead to the final goal.”
At a press conference held after her meeting with Gottemoeller Zurabishvili said that NATO-Georgia cooperation and the occupied regions of Georgia were key issues of the meeting.
We need the support of our partners to reintegrate our territories. The current situation must not last long,” Zurabishvili said.
She stated that it is important the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package not only be refreshed next year but to also include new chapters on further cooperation for the Black Sea security and cyber security.
Ziurabishvili said that Georgia stands firm on its NATO goals.
No one has made us change the route and no one will manage this in the future,” she said.
Gottemoeller stated that the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package has been a “success story” in the five years since it was created, strengthening Georgia’s interoperability with the alliance and making Georgian armed forces more capable.
Allies have now decided to conduct a refresh as we call it or a strengthening of the package by 2020, updating and improving our cooperation,'' she said.
Gottemoeller stated that NATO and Georgia are developing dialogue and cooperation on the Black Sea region.
She welcomed Georgia’s offer to continue providing logistical support to NATO and allies, and said that NATO is working with Georgia to strengthen interoperability, including with the ongoing training of the Coast Guard boarding teams.
Allied Ambassadors & #Georgia emphasize the unique scope & depth of Georgia’s relationship with #NATO. Allies welcome the substantial progress on reforms in Georgia over the past decade.— Rose Gottemoeller (@Gottemoeller) October 3, 2019
Read the full statement by the North Atlantic Council here: https://t.co/rFWLUYKXxg pic.twitter.com/rlBBV4Q3i9
Georgia is demonstrating that it is an exporter of security. A net security provider. Your country remains the largest non-NATO troop contributor to our mission in Afghanistan. We welcome the reforms that you have put in place. Strengthening your democratic institutions and the rule of law, and modernising your armed forces. We will work with you as you continue on this path," she said.
Gottemoeller stated that NATO “fully supports” Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and that the alliance calls on Russia to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
These territories are part of Georgia and we will never recognise them as anything else”.
The NATO delegation will leave Georgia later today.