Speaking after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Georgia is one of NATO’s most important partners, contributing to the Alliance’s shared security in many ways, including with troops in NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan. “We can all be proud of what we do together and you can be proud of your contributions to our shared security and contributions to our missions and operations”, he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that earlier this year, Allies agreed to strengthen the NATO-Georgia partnership even further. Speaking about NATO’s close cooperation with Georgia on Black Sea security, he said that Allies agreed to share more air traffic radar data, working jointly to address hybrid threats, as well as doing joint exercises in the Black Sea region.
“NATO supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognised borders. We call on Russia to end its recognition of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to withdraw its forces”, he said.
Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO welcomes the progress Georgia is making on reforms, stressing that Georgia has already made good progress in modernizing the armed forces and in strengthening democracy. “And I encourage you to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to NATO. And to prepare for membership. We count on Georgia to ensure next month’s elections meet the highest international standards. This is important for Georgia, and for NATO”, he said.
The NATO Secretary General thanked Prime Minister Gakharia for his strong personal commitment to the Alliance and said that “NATO’s partnership with Georgia makes us all safer and more secure”.