Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze met NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow in Brussels on March 2.
Meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission with the participation of the Foreign Minister and permanent representatives of the alliance member states was also held.
The deputy secretary general reiterated NATO’s support for Georgia’s “ambitious reform agenda” and said that implementation of substantial package of cooperation, offered to Georgia in 2014 is on the right track.
He also “underscored Allies’ readiness to explore ways to strengthen NATO’s cooperation with Georgia,” NATO said in a press release.
“During their meeting, the Deputy Secretary General stressed the need for continued momentum in Georgia’s reform efforts and thanked Georgia for its contributions to the Alliance’s operation in Afghanistan. These contributions, he noted, have enabled Georgian forces to achieve a high degree of interoperability with NATO forces,” NATO said.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that “preparations for the NATO’s Warsaw summit” were also discussed at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting.
“Readiness has been expressed to undertake joint steps for securing political support towards Georgia’s NATO integration process, as well as practical cooperation to strengthen Georgia’s defense capabilities,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
Although NATO foreign ministers said in December that Georgia has “all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership”, they also reaffirmed that before joining the Alliance the country should go through a Membership Action Plan (MAP) phase, which Georgia has been denied since 2008. NATO and Georgian officials say that the alliance is not likely to grant MAP to Georgia at the Warsaw summit this year. Georgian officials say that decision on MAP, when there is a consensus on it within the Alliance, will actually be a political one, which might be equivalent to invitation to join NATO.