German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she does not think a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for Georgia will be on the agenda of NATO summit in Wales in September, adding that there are options other than MAP through which Georgia’s progress can be reflected in summit decisions.
Speaking at a news conference after meeting with Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili in Berlin on June 2, Merkel said: “On the question of MAP, I think it will not be an agenda item of the next summit of NATO.”
“But we see the progress Georgia is making; we also see how Georgia contributes to joint efforts, for example in Afghanistan. For the next NATO summit we should consider how to acknowledge that Georgia is a good partner, especially in these difficult missions, and I think that there are also ways other than MAP to do it,” the German Chancellor said.
Chancellor Merkel made the remarks while responding a question if she thinks that time has come for Georgia to receive MAP at the Wales summit and if NATO’s refusal to take next step for Georgia’s integration into the alliance would be “a green light” for Russia’s further aggression. Merkel responded that she does not think Russia can perceive any decision as a green light for aggression and added that Georgia’s efforts to “intensify and normalize” relations with Russia “deserves support.”
Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, who accompanies PM Garibashvili on his visit to Germany, said that “other ways” through which Georgia’s progress can be acknowledged at the NATO summit in September were discussed during the meeting with the German Chancellor and consultations about what it might be are ongoing.
“One thing is beyond any doubt – the progress achieved by Georgia will be adequately acknowledged at the Wales summit. This is the main message that we received by the German Chancellor,” Panjikidze said.
Germany was among those NATO members, who were against granting MAP to Georgia at the NATO summit in Bucharest in April, 2008.
At the Bucharest summit NATO leaders refused to offer MAP to Georgia, but decided that Georgia will join the NATO sometime in the future. The Bucharest summit decision, however, also says that MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”; references to the need of going through MAP phase before joining the alliance are also made in NATO’s subsequent decisions in respect of Georgia.