NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced Georgia to become a NATO partner, during a joint press conference with President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili.
Stating that NATO was grateful for Georgia’s continuing contributions to our Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, Stoltenberg told that all members would continue to work with Georgia to prepare for membership and made following remarks:
“It is ten years since the first meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission. In that time, our partnership has become increasingly close. NATO’s relationship with Georgia is unique. Georgia is one of the Alliance’s most important operational partners and a trusted friend.
“Our partnership makes NATO and Georgia safer and more secure.
“We are grateful for Georgia’s continuing contributions to our Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. And recognise the sacrifices the Georgian people have made for our shared security.
“We fully support Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Georgia will become a member of NATO.
“Allied leaders reaffirmed this yesterday and we will continue to work with you to prepare for membership.
“We are impressed by the progress you are making on reforms and encourage you to continue.
“The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package is already bolstering your country’s defence reform efforts.
“I am pleased with the close cooperation between the NATO Training Centre in Poland and the NATO-Georgia Joint Training Centre outside Tbilisi.
“And I expect to see broad Allied participation in next year’s NATO-Georgia exercise.
“I also thank you for your contribution to stability in the Black Sea region – a strategic region where we are stepping up our cooperation.
“NATO supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, which includes the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“Finally, we congratulate you on your commitment to match the NATO guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence. Mister President, Giorgi, thank you again for being here with all the NATO leaders.
“The relationship between NATO and your country is stronger than ever.”