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NATO International Staff Representatives visit Georgia

Thursday, February 19
In the frames of NATO International Staff representatives’ working visit to Georgia, the Minister of Defence of Georgia hosted Frank Boland - Head of Planning Directorate, DPPD, NATO IS and Gustav Vroemen PARP Country Officer for Georgia, DPPD, and NATO IS. Deputy Ministers of Defence Gocha Ratiani and Levan Girsiashvili and other senior officials of the MoD attended the meeting.

During the meeting, discussions were held on the issues regarding the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package. Active engagement of the Georgian side and progress achieved with regard to Package implementation was highlighted during the meeting. Both sides focused on manning the NATO Core Team, provision of advisers, conducting assessment of existing capabilities in Georgia and other details of the Package implementation process. Georgian side expressed readiness to host the NATO member countries’ representatives and presented vision for implementation of Substantial Package elements.

Minister of Defence Mindia Janelidze stressed significance of the meeting and noted that the implementation process of the package is ongoing successfully: “This meeting carries great importance. There is a great public interest regarding the location of NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre. Final decisions on concrete topics will be made in the nearest future. We continue consultations on implementation of other initiatives defined in the Substantial Package. The visit of the NATO Assessment Team in Georgia is also planned in the near future. The package implementation process is going intensively. We will do our best to maintain the momentum.”

Head of the Planning Directorate, DPPD, NATO Frank Boland summed up the results of the visit in Georgia: “We are here today to talk about the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package which has been agreed by the allies. We had a meeting with the Defence Minister and we will have other meetings during a course of the day with senior officials here in the Ministry, General Staff and also with NATO ambassadors and defense attaches, as well as more detailed discussions tomorrow on various project defined in the package. So far, we have made a great deal of progress and as I said to the Minister this has gone much more smoothly then I would have imagined given the complexity of this process. I think this is very much indication of how much allies are supporting this work and are really making real resources available to turn this whole process into reality. So we are extremely optimistic about the way this is going. There is of course a lot more detailed work that has to be done and a lot of administrative things that need to be sorted out. But generally speaking, this looks to be on the road to be as considerable success“.

This was the last visit of Mr. Frank Boland, in his current capacity. The Minister of Defence of Georgia Mindia Janelidze awarded Mr. Frank Boland with the General Kvinitadze Medal for his significant contribution to strengthening NATO-Georgia relations and development of the Georgian defence system.

In the frames of the visit, the delegation of the NATO International Staff will hold meetings with the senior representatives of the MoD and the project leaders of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package initiatives.