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Garibashvili Meets NATO Sec-Gen in Brussels

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, October 17
Within the framework of the visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili to Brussels the meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was held at the NATO headquarters. Stoltenberg announced that NATO would continue to provide political and practical support to its partners, and expects Georgia to maintain democratic standards.

"It is vital that we continue to work on judicial reform, media independence and security sector accountability," said Jens Stoltenberg. As SecGen noted, NATO expects Georgia to adhere to the democratic standards on which it has worked hard in recent years: “We also urge you to work with the opposition to resolve political differences, reduce polarization rhetoric and actions.”

According to Stoltenberg, NATO will continue to work on strengthening Georgia's defense capabilities - with naval support, joint exercises and information sharing. Traditionally, Stoltenberg thanked Georgia for its contribution to NATO efforts in Afghanistan over the years.

“We agreed that NATO would be very vigilant to prevent further escalation. Any further aggression by Russia will have a high price and at the same time will have very serious political and economic consequences for Russia. Georgia and Ukraine have the right to choose their allies, and Russia has no right to dictate that choice,” he said.

According to the Georgian PM, every state has the right to choose its own foreign policy course, and for Georgia, NATO membership is ‘a key issue in the country's foreign and security policy, which is supported by the vast majority of the Georgian nation’. He also said that Georgia is working closely with the Alliance to develop a clear vision for Georgia's integration into NATO .

“We have all the practical tools for membership and we are in active dialogue with the allies to prepare a political decision on Georgia's accession to NATO” According to the PM, it is time to intensify the process of Georgia's integration into NATO and make concrete political decisions.

Gharibashvili underscored that Georgia was working diligently on the practical implementation of the 2008 Bucharest Summit - where the Allies decided that Georgia would become a member of the Alliance. As the Head of Government noted, Georgia's practical cooperation with NATO is successfully developing within the framework of the Black Sea Security Partnership.

During his visit to Brussels PM also held official meetings with European Council President Charles Michel, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, as well as foreign leaders.