Georgian Dream leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, met with NATO Liaison Officer in Tbilisi, William Lahue, and reiterated his coalition’s commitment to NATO integration.
He said after the meeting that agenda of Georgia-NATO relations were discussed “in details” and added that the NATO representative “assured us that we have a good chance of joining NATO.”
“Problems and questions mainly are related to democratic institutions, which are not on a level on which they should be. In this respect I have explained that in the nearest future, very soon, we will manage to bring a genuine breakthrough in addressing issues of human rights, judiciary,” Ivanishvili said after the meeting.
“NATO is a political-military structure and only military training is not enough; we have also discussed this issue and we will address problems remaining in this area and we will make progress [in this area] too,” he said.
“I think that we will really manage – not superficially like our authorities have been talking about –to quickly become NATO-member country,” Ivanishvili added.
NATO Liaison Officer said that “the mechanisms for pursuing” NATO-Georgia relationships were discussed.
“We are very, very pleased to hear Mr. Ivanishvili’s commitment to NATO values and the reforms that Georgia is undertaking to become a member of NATO. This process is extremely important and we were assured of his support for continuation of this support and eventual membership of Georgia in NATO,” Lahue said.
“When NATO membership will occur, of course, we cannot say at this time, but the critical issue is that Georgia to continue its process of reforms to become a member of the European community and to continue its commitment to the values enshrined in the North-Atlantic treaty, which are human rights, rule of law, democracy and individual liberty.”
“Mr. Ivanishvili has assured us that these values will be supported by this government and we are quite comforted by his plans also to reform the government and to put in new officials who will support these issues strongly,” NATO Liaison Officer
On October 4 the NATO Liaison Office in Tbilisi released a statement congratulating the Georgian people for “historic parliamentary election.”
“The peaceful conduct of this election is an important demonstration of the belief of the Georgian people in democratic values. As the final votes are counted, it is equally important that the Georgian people continue to demonstrate their commitment to democratic processes and the rule of law by supporting the legal procedures for vote counting and dispute resolution,” the NATO Liaison Office said.