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NATO ‘Maximising Advice, Support’ for Georgia’s Reforms
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 Apr.'09 / 02:16

NATO leaders said they were “maximising our advice, assistance and support” for Georgia’s and Ukraine’s reform efforts.

A joint statement released after Strasbourg/Kehl summit by NATO heads of states says that this assistance will be carried out by NATO-Ukraine Commission and NATO-Georgia Commission, “which play a central role in supervising the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit.”

The statement reiterates decision of the April, 2008 Bucharest summit that the two countries will become NATO members sometime in the future; it, however, also notes that the both should pass through the Membership Action Plan phase.

“Without prejudice to further decisions which must be taken about MAP, the development of Annual National Programmes [ANP] will help Georgia and Ukraine in advancing their reforms,” the statement reads.

The annual review of ANP, the document says, will allow the alliance to continue “to closely monitor” the two countries’ reform process. According to the Georgian officials ANP is now in the process of elaboration.

“Stability and successful political and economic reform in Ukraine and Georgia are important to Euro-Atlantic security,” the statement reads. “We strongly encourage Georgia to continue implementing all necessary reforms, particularly democratic, electoral, and judicial reforms, in order to achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”

In the statement the alliance leaders also reaffirm “continued support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.”

They called on the sides into the Geneva talks to play a constructive role and to engage in “rapid implementation” of incident prevention and response mechanism  agreed to ruing the recent round of talks in February.

The statement says that Russia has not completely complied with its commitments undertaken under the August 12 and September 8 ceasefire accords.

“The build-up of Russia’s military presence in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without the consent of the Government of Georgia is of particular concern,” it reads.

The alliance leaders have also called on Russia “to reverse its recognition” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They have also said that international monitors should have access to “all of Georgia, including the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

The joint statement however, also reads that “despite our current disagreements, Russia is of particular importance to us as a partner and neighbour.”

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