Package that NATO plans for Tbilisi at the summit in Wales this week will include establishing “a defense capacity building mission” and training center in Georgia, more Georgian participation in NATO exercises and “occasionally” NATO military exercises in Georgia and expanding NATO liaison office in Tbilisi, according to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
At a meeting in June NATO foreign ministers decided that membership action plan (MAP) would not be extended to Georgia at the summit in Wales; instead, NATO foreign ministers agreed to develop a “substantive" package to help the country move further closer to the Alliance.
Asked at a press conference in Brussels on September 1 what that package would be, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen responded that this package “will definitely bring Georgia closer to NATO.”
“Without going into too many details, I can mention some of the headlines,” Rasmussen said.
“We will establish what we call a defense capacity building mission in Georgia with a particular focus on the Ministry of Defense and assist Georgia in continued reforms and modernization of the defense and security sector,” the NATO Secretary General said.
“Next, we will step up our efforts to improve the ability of the Georgian armed forces to work and operate together with NATO forces, including through more Georgian participation in NATO exercises,” he continued.
“Thirdly, occasionally military exercises might also be organized in Georgia in particular with the view to engaging NATO partners in such exercises,” Rasmussen said.
“Fourth, we are also considering the establishment of a military training center in Georgia again with the particular view to engaging NATO partners – that [training center] might also be of regional dimension.”
“And finally, we are also considering an expansion of the NATO liaison office in Tbilisi,” Rasmussen said.
“So all in all you will see very concrete measures that will bring Georgia closer to NATO,” he added.