President Saakashvili said in televised remarks at a meeting with visiting President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, John Tanner, in Tbilisi that the recent NATO summit declaration meant that the alliance’s door had been “reopened” for Georgia.
“In respect of NATO we have managed to get on the road on which we have been thinking for a long time. The recent decisions of Strasbourg summit [of NATO leaders] and statements of President Obama and of outgoing and incoming NATO secretary generals give us very serious reason for optimism,” Saakashvili said.
“If previously the major issue was whether Georgia would have or not MAP [membership action plan], this document [a final declaration of NATO summit] says that Georgia’s road towards NATO does not directly lie through MAP – the issue of MAP is raised separately there - but through NATO-Georgia Commission and through annual review by this Commission,” he continued.
“That means that despite aggression, despite the war and despite propaganda which is underway against us, Georgia’s road towards the North-Atlantic alliance has been reopened. This is the road towards stability, towards protection of the entire region; this is the road towards secured economy.”
A final declaration of Strasbourg/Kehl summit of NATO leaders of April 4 reads: “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 annual review of these programmes will allow us to continue to closely monitor Georgia and Ukraine’s progress on reforms related to their aspirations for NATO membership.”
President Saakashvili also said that during his visit to Georgia General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, submitted “new package” of assistance to the Georgian army.
“This will help Georgia to create qualitatively new armed forces, which will benefit Georgia and benefit to all of our allies,” Saakashvili said.