Georgia hopes that NATO leaders’ summit in Lisbon on November 19-20 will reiterate its decision taken in 2008 in Bucharest that Georgia will one day join the alliance, the Georgian President’s spokesperson said on November 16.
“We hope that the Lisbon summit will reiterate its commitment to the Bucharest [summit] decisions as well as reiterate that Georgia is moving successfully on the path of NATO integration,” Manana Manjgaladze, spokesperson of the Georgian President, said on November 16.
During the summit in Bucharest in April, 2008, after heated debates, NATO leaders refused to grant Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia, a precursor to eventual accession into the Alliance; NATO leaders, however, stated that Georgia would become NATO member sometime in the future.
At the time in public statements the Georgian leadership had to welcome the decision. However, after the August war President Saakashvili described this decision by NATO as "a strategic mistake."
During his visit in Tbilisi on October 1, NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said he expected upcoming summit in Lisbon would reiterate the decision of the 2008 Bucharest summit that Georgia will one day become member of the alliance once Georgian fulfills necessary criteria.
The President’s spokesperson also said on November 16, that President Saakashvili would visit Lisbon to participate in a meeting of NATO and its allies, contributing troops to the Afghan operation.
She also said that on the sidelines of the Lisbon summit Saakashvili also plans number of bilateral talks, including with British Prime Minister; Presidents of Turkey and the Czech Republic, as well as with the Australian Prime Minister.