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NATO Chief on Upcoming Visit to Georgia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Nov.'11 / 01:39

Visit of the NATO's senior decision-making body, North Atlantic Council, to Georgia next week is "a very significant event that stresses the very special partnership between Georgia and NATO," Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance's secretary general, said on November 3.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, he said that since NAC's first visit to Georgia three years ago, there had been "significant progress" in NATO-Georgia relations, as well as  in "reforms of the Georgian defense and the Georgian society in general."

"The purpose of our visit to Georgia will be to discuss with the political leaders in Georgia how we can make further progress when it comes to reforms, and further progress in the relationship between Georgia and NATO," Rasmussen said.

He reiterated NATO's gratitude for Georgia's significant contribution to the Afghan operation. "Georgia belongs to the largest contributors to our operation in Afghanistan and it is a testament to the very strong Georgian commitment to our Alliance," he added.

The NATO Secretary General and NAC, involving ambassadors from the member states, will visit Tbilisi and Batumi on November 9-10.

On 9 November, the Secretary General will chair a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission in Tbilisi, with the participation of Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri.

The Secretary General and NATO ambassadors will meet with Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze and a group of Georgian lawmakers, as well as Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze in Tbilisi on November 10. Also in Tbilisi NATO officials will meet with opposition, media and civil society representatives.

Also on November 10the Secretary General and NATO ambassadors will meet with President Saakashvili in Georgia's Black Sea resort town of Batumi. During the visit the NATO Secretary General will also hold bilateral meetings with President Saakashvili, parliamentary speaker and the prime minister. Andres Fogh Rasmussen also plans to deliver a speech at the Tbilisi State University and to greet Georgian troops which have served in Afghanistan.

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