The President of Georgia, who is currently attending the NATO Summit in Chicago as a result of an invitation by the NATO Secretary General, took part in the working of the summit. Georgia was represented in meetings of every format during a two day summit, including the meetings of the ISAF format with the countries participating in the ISAF mission (28+ISAF); also in the meetings of the future NATO members (28+4) and meetings with main partners (28+13) during which Georgia was the only country from Eastern Europe. Georgia attended the meeting of the ISAF format for the first time this year, where up to 60 ISAF partner country leaders participated.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton focused a large part of her address on Georgia during the meeting of the 28 NATO members and 4 partner (Aspirant) countries. She once again expressed unwavering support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and called on Russia to fulfill its obligations. The Secretary of State thanked the Georgian side for participation in the ISAF mission, positively assessed the democratic reforms implemented in the country and noted that Georgia fully shares NATO’s democratic values.
“Georgia will become the largest non-NATO contributor to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan this fall and we are very grateful for its contributions. Georgia has made democratic reforms and the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections are additional opportunities for Georgia to show the world that it is committed to NATO’s democratic values. We stand firm in our support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We welcome Georgia’s non-use of force pledge and we call on Russia to reciprocate with its own pledge.” – stated Hillary Clinton.
The Deputy Secretary General of NATO, Alexander Vershbow also focused attention on the importance of participation in the summit of Georgia and aspirant countries.
“Georgia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; these four countries aspire to NATO membership and they therefore have a special place among NATO’s partners. Today’s meeting demonstrates how strongly your four countries are linked to the alliance and how much we want to further strengthen those ties.” – stated Alexander Vershbow.
A declaration was passed within the scope of the NATO Summit, giving Georgia 3 full sections and talking about the region in general in another two sections, which obviously included Georgia as well. The declaration mentioned for the first time that Georgia is a NATO aspirant country, that the alliance remains firm on its Bucharest Summit decision and Georgia will definitely become a member of NATO.
“At the 2008 Bucharest Summit we agreed that Georgia will become a member of NATO and we reaffirm all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions. The NATO-Georgia Commission and Georgia’s Annual National Program (ANP) have a central role in supervising the process set in hand at the Bucharest Summit. We welcome Georgia’s progress since the Bucharest Summit to meet its Euro-Atlantic aspirations through its reforms, implementation of its Annual National Program, and active political engagement with the Alliance in the NATO-Georgia Commission” – is noted in the declaration.
The members of NATO also agreed on deepening ties with Georgia by strengthening the political dialogue. The document once again expressed support of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty just like in the declarations of 2008 and 2010, and once again called on Russia: “We continue to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states.”
NATO also calls on the sides participating in the Geneva talks to play a constructive role in intensive cooperation with the OSCE, UN, and EU and assist peacefully in solving the conflict within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders. The declaration expressed NATO’s official position “We continue to be concerned by the build-up of Russia’s military presence on Georgia’s territory and continue to call on Russia to ensure free access for humanitarian assistance and international observers. “
The declaration also expressed the gratitude for “Georgia’s important contribution, as the second largest non-member state in the armed forces of the ISAF mission”
“This demonstrates Georgia’s loyalty towards common security goals of the alliance” – as noted in the document.