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Two goals for the NATO Summit

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, April 20
“NATO membership will ensure security of Georgia only in one way, an attack on one member state is an attack on them all,” William Lahue, the Head of the NATO Liaison Office, said at the Georgia’s European Way conference on April 19.

He claimed that all NATO member states say that Georgia should and will become a member of the alliance.

However, Lahue said it would be difficult for all 28 members of the alliance to reach a consensus over giving a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia at the upcoming NATO Warsaw Summit.

“MAP was a politicized issue during the previous government, due to which NATO's 28 member countries found it difficult to reach a consensus on granting MAP to Georgia,” Lahue said.

He said that the main tool for integration into NATO is further reform in Georgia, which is being carried out successfully.

“NATO supports Georgia on the basis of the partners' agreement. We will walk the path of integration together,"said Lahue.

However, Minister of Defencee Tina Khidasheli said that “MAP is a sort of past issue” for Georgia.

She claimed that Georgia has all the tools for joining NATO and MAP is no longer necessary.

"I am emphatically and unequivocally saying that everyone who can write and read can check the tools enjoyed by Georgia in relations with NATO, including the joint training centre - this is the kind of tool that no country has ever had, including those who have MAP. For me, personally, and this is not only my position, this is the attitude of the Georgian government, that MAP is a sort of past issue for Georgia. At the 2015 December summit, it was actually said that MAP became part of political processes and has no longer anything in common with practical instruments,” she said.

The Minister stressed that Georgia is either waiting for full NATO membership from the Warsaw Summit or a genuine tool that will significantly upgrade Georgia’s self-defence and provide a guarantee of stability for Georgia.

“Without achieving success in both goals, the Summit's outcomes will not be satisfactory for Georgia,” the Minister said.