Stoltenberg noted progress of Georgia in NATO integration process
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday discussed issues of integrating the country into the alliance and deepening cooperation in this direction. This was reported by the Public Television of Georgia, which showed footage from a working dinner organized by the head of government on the occasion of the Secretary General's visit.
"During the meeting, the process of the country's integration into NATO and the European Union, the course of reforms carried out in Georgia in this direction were discussed," the channel said. Stoltenberg emphasized "the progress of Georgia in the process of integration into NATO". Bakhtadze thanked Stoltenberg for the visit to Tbilisi, noting that it is the "evidence of firm support of Georgia by NATO".
NATO Secretary General arrived in Tbilisi on Sunday evening. First Deputy Minister of Defense Lela Chikovani stated that on March 25 Stoltenberg, Bakhtadze and Defense Minister Levan Izoria will visit the NATO-Georgia Joint Learning and Assessment Center (JTEC) in Krtsanisi (on the outskirts of Tbilisi), where from March 18, NATO - Georgia Exercise 2019 takes place.
On March 21, Stoltenberg declared in Brussels that NATO was ready to continue active support of Georgia in the process of carrying out reforms in order to prepare the country for joining the alliance. The Secretary General declined to answer the question about the possible timing of Georgia’s admission to NATO, stating that "the decision on the admission of a country is made by the members of the alliance on the basis of consensus and taking into account the full readiness of the state" for this.
Touching upon the question of conducting exercises, he noted that they "are purely defensive in nature and are not directed against any other countries," including Russia.
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