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Foreign Minister denies decreasing contacts with NATO

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 30
Georgia’s Foreign Minister denied the reports of the opposition and some NGOs which claim that Georgia currently has fewer contacts with NATO than in years prior.

Minister Mikheil Janelidze stressed that, in fact, the opposite is true, and Georgia is “very active towards NATO.”

The opposition’s speculations came shortly after Janelidze stated there was no need for the President to call the National Security Council over Georgia’s participation in the 2017 NATO summit and discuss the NATO–Georgia relationship.

Janelidze stressed he saw no crucial need for a meeting of the NSC, as everything in NATO-Georgian relations is already “in place”.

"The Government and Georgia, as an aspirant country, have a most deep and comprehensive partnership with NATO. We are represented in all formats. In January, two sessions of the NATO-Georgia Council were held. This year will be very active for NATO-Georgia relations,” Janelidze stated.

“We are waiting for the Defense Ministerial, within the framework of which the Georgia-NATO Commission meeting will be held with the participation of the Georgian Minister of Defense. It should also be noted that the meeting will be attended by the new US Defense Secretary. Accordingly, it will be a very important ministerial meeting,” the Minister added.

He also stated that the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and other bilateral meetings are due to be held in Georgia.

National Security Council Secretary Davit Rakviashvili stated NATO-Georgia relations were of the utmost importance and the President would decide whether to call the meeting.

However, the leader of the non-parliamentary opposition Free Democrats party, Tamar Kekenadze, appealed to the President to hold the Council meeting over NATO.