Georgia expecting to become NATO member soon

Georgian Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Oct. 7.

Georgian Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Oct. 7.

The day before the departure for Brussels, Khidasheli told reporters that Georgia-NATO cooperation would be highlighted at the upcoming meeting.

"We are expecting to get more than the Membership Action Plan (MAP) from the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw. I think we are ready to do this [join NATO]," she said.

 

As to the opinion of former U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Kurt Volker that Georgia should not be counting on the MAP at the Warsaw summit, the defense minister said, "Kurt Volker is a great friend of Georgia and I agree with what he has said, but I repeat that we have a much bigger goal than the MAP program."

She said earlier that Georgia might become a NATO member bypassing the MAP stage because it was fully prepared for that to happen.

Stoltenberg visited Georgia in August to unveil the alliance's training center to coach servicemen of Georgia and NATO member countries and partners.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday, the NATO secretary general called Georgia a valuable partner. He recalled the recent visit to Georgia and the opening of the training center, which was part of the Substantial Package designed together with Georgia. The Georgia-NATO Commission will converge on Oct.8 on the margins of a ministerial conference and this is another element of Georgia-NATO cooperation, Stoltenberg said.

Read more: U.S. general doesn't expect NATO training center in Georgia to destabilize Caucasus>>>

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