Granting to Georgia NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the next summit in Warsaw in 2016 will be a priority in Georgia’s talks with the Alliance and its members, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said.
Tina Khidasheli, the Georgian Defense Minister, met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on June 1.
The Georgian MoD said in a press release that “the main topic of discussion” was NATO summit in Warsaw, which will be held on July 8-9, 2016.
“Georgia requests Membership Action Plan [to be granted] at the Warsaw summit – the Defense Minister is starting her meetings with Alliance leadership and partners with this agenda,” the MoD said.
Khidasheli told Georgian journalists in Brussels on June 1, that “main topic of my meetings onwards till July 9 will be the summit.”
“Our position is known; we want Georgia to move substantially on a new level of relations with NATO,” she said. “We have already started these talks; I will be visiting Paris in a week and then some other European capitals as well and by the time of [NATO] ministerial in October we will have initial outline.”
At the NATO summit in Wales in September, 2014 Georgia was again left without long-sought MAP; instead the Alliance offered Georgia “substantial package” of cooperation, which, among other components, includes establishing the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC); the center is expected to be opened before the end of this year.
Khidasheli said that implementation of the substantial package of cooperation was also discussed at the meeting with the NATO Secretary General. She said that a location for the center has already been selected by the Georgian side and submitted for final approval to NATO.
“We are waiting for their final decision. From the Georgian side decision [on location] is already made and at the meeting we once again reminded that we are waiting for their response,” Khidasheli said.
She said that the NATO Secretary General is expected to visit Georgia this year and the opening of the center may coincide with this visit.