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Defence Minister at NATO Defence Ministerial

Thursday, June 5
Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania visited Brussels to participate in the NATO Defence Ministers' Meetings. On June 3-4, NATO HQ hosted the Defence Ministers of member and partner countries of NATO. The NATO Defence Ministers reviewed collective defence measures in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and discuss preparations for the NATO Summit in Wales.

On the sideline of the event, Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania met NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The ongoing and implemented defence reforms were discussed during a bilateral meeting. The sides focused on Georgia`s participation in the ISAF mission and its engagement in the “Resolute Support “(RS) mission after 2014.

NATO Secretary General thanked Irakli Alasania for the contribution Georgia provides to the international operation in Afghanistan. Rasmussen underlined the progress achieved by Georgia in terms of democratic development, improved transparency and defence transformation.

On June 4, the NATO-Georgia Commission met at the level of Defence Ministers in Brussels, at NATO headquarters The meeting took place in a 28+1 format, and was opened by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

"We continue high level dialogue with Georgia in the context of continued serious challenges for our security. The crisis caused by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has repercussions for Georgia, its region, and Euro-Atlantic security. NATO allies do not, and will not, recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. And neither do we accept Russia’s recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states. NATO stands up for the rights of every nation to make its sovereign choice on foreign and security policy. Today, we will continue our active dialogue with Georgia. There has been good progress, especially in making the defence and security sectors more transparent and accountable. We look forward to further implementation of reforms and we will continue to assist you in this process. Let me make clear that we stand by the decision we made at our Bucharest Summit in 2008. Georgia will be a member of NATO, provided that it fulfills the requirements of membership. Alliance Foreign Ministers will discuss Georgia’s aspirations at our meeting later this month. And I am confident that our next Summit will recognize Georgia’s progress," Secretary General said in his opening remarks NATO.

In his speech, Minister of Defence of Georgia briefed his foreign counterparts about the implemented reforms in defence sphere.

"The NATO-Georgia Commission was one of the most successful meetings during the past years where all allies agreed that Georgia's success will not only be declared at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales, but concrete, effective and practical steps will be taken for strengthening Georgia's defence capabilities. This agreement and consensus is a very important basis in order to see more NATO presence in the region after the next summit. The most important goal is to strengthen Georgia's defence capabilities," declared Irakli Alasania after the meeting.

On the same day, Irakli Alasania attended a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with non-NATO ISAF-Contributing Nations at the Defence Ministers session. The presidential elections in Afghanistan, security situation and future plans of the alliance in Afghanistan were discussed at the meeting.

"Obviously, we discussed the ISAF operation and the great achievements in Afghanistan. The allies appreciated Georgia's significant contribution to the mission," the defence minister said.

Within the frames of the visit, the defence minister also held bilateral meetings with the British, Ukrainian, Danish, Belgian and Turkish counterparts.