Membership Action Plan (MAP) should not be an obstacle on Georgia’s path to NATO accession and the Alliance should bring clarity to this issue by the time of its summit in Warsaw next year, Georgian Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili said on August 27.
He told journalists after meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who visited Tbilisi on August 26-27, that MAP should not be an issue of “political speculation”.
“I told Mr Secretary General that we do not want MAP to become a political issue, because MAP is a technical tool. From the political point of view it was said at 2008 Bucharest summit that Georgia will become a NATO member and in this political part of the issue there has been and remains complete clarity, but technical part of the issue [MAP] should not become a matter of political speculation. Therefore we should work a lot with NATO and its individual members in order not to make this issue kind of an obstacle, and no one wants to make it an obstacle and if it’s not an obstacle let’s solve it easily in coming months ahead of the Warsaw summit. What we need is NATO membership, not MAP; what we do not need is an obstacle, whatever it is called – MAP or something else; so the obstacles should be removed,” Usupashvili said.
“As far as we need to bring clarity to this issue, we ask our colleagues in NATO member states to do it in order not to make it an issue of political speculation. Tools that Georgia now has are unique – substantial package, which also includes the joint training center, are those instruments, which make the process of [NATO integration] actually irreversible and because that’s the case let’s call it by its right name. [Membership] through MAP or without MAP – these are the issues on which we will agree. What is the most important is that everyone should understand that Georgia’s NATO membership and our steps in this direction aim at stability and peace in the region and not contrary. Everyone should understand this both within and outside the country,” he said.
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said in Tbilisi on August 27 that it’s now early to say what the decision of next year’s NATO summit will be in respect of MAP.
At the summit in Bucharest in 2008 NATO leaders decided that Georgia will become a member of the alliance, but MAP should be the next stage on country’s path towards eventual membership. Georgia has been denied MAP since then.
When addressing the NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Budapest in May 2015, Georgian Parliament Speaker Usupashvili said that the Alliance should either give Georgia MAP at the next year’s summit in Warsaw or declare that MAP is no longer a precursor to eventual membership.