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Saakashvili: NATO Sends Strong Signal
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 20 Aug.'08 / 02:32

President Saakashvili welcomed the NATO decision to establish new framework of cooperation with Georgia and said he hoped it would lead to “fast-track process for our membership application.”

Speaking at a late night joint news conference with British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, in Tbilisi on August 19, Saakashvili said he was “pleased” that NATO-Georgia Commission had been created and added that should result into “accelerated” process of Georgia’s integration into the alliance.

When mentioning the new framework, he misspoken and said Russian-Georgian Commission instead of NATO-Georgia Commission, but corrected it immediately and added: “I wish that had been with Russia, but that’s not the case.”

NATO foreign ministers agreed at an emergency session in Brussels on August 19 on set of proposals for Georgia, including number of practical post-conflict assistance programs for the country.

“I think NATO sent a very strong signal about Russian aggression towards Georgia and continued Russian occupation and destruction of my population, their property and the Georgian infrastructure,” Saakashvili said. “We are encouraged by strong statements from Brussels.”

The British Foreign Secretary Miliband said at the news conference that the August 19 meeting of NATO foreign ministers was “significant” and “marked above all by unity in the face of continued Russian refusal to live up to their own commitments to withdraw their forces to the 7th of August lines.”

He said that “rule of forces” should not replace rule of law and “the democratic governments need to be sustained and strengthened; the territorial integrity of sovereign nations needs to be defended and at all times international law needs to be upheld.”

“On several counts the Russian behavior over the last ten days has violated those principles,” Miliband continued. “And it is very important that at the UN, in the EU and in NATO Britain continues to speak loudly and clearly on these issues.”

“It is very, very important that the Georgian people know that the British government and the British people stand in solidarity with them against threats to their life and to their country.”

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