(Civil.Ge) — The Military Committee (MC), NATO’s highest military authority and the organization’s primary source of military advice, concluded its two-day visit to Georgia on March 2-3 to discuss the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package and its implementation, as well as regional security issues.
The Military Committee Chairman, General Petr Pavel, accompanied by senior NATO military representatives, held multiple high-level meetings with Georgian officials.
On March 2, Georgia’s Defense Minister Levan Izoria hosted the Czech General to discuss NATO-Georgia cooperation prospects, security challenges in the region, as well as the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) and Georgia’s participation in international missions.
“NATO supports Georgia’s commitment and its Euro-Atlantic membership aspirations” General Pavel said at the joint press conference following the meeting with Georgian Defense Ministry officials on March 2.
Although NATO officials “appreciate” the scope of reforms and changes that Georgia has pursued for joining NATO, General Pavel noted that “there is obviously a long way of preparing a nation for a membership”. He, however, stressed that NATO will do its “best to prepare Georgia for future NATO membership.”
General Pavel reiterated NATO’s support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and called on the Russian Federation to “reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia and to withdraw its forces from Georgia.”
Georgia’s Defense Minister Levan Izoria stressed that Georgia-NATO relationships have been “unprecedented” in the last few months.
He also said that the NATO Military Committee visit to Georgia demonstrates a strong message from the Alliance, which continues to support Georgia’s integration and its efforts towards NATO membership.
Following the press conference on Thursday, NATO Military Representatives visited the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) to attend the pre-deployment training of the Georgian military unit to “Resolute Support” mission in Afghanistan.
The NATO Military Committee’s March 3 meeting, held with participation of Georgia, focused on security and challenges that the country faces in the region, as well as increased NATO presence in the Black Sea region.
As part of the visit, the 28 NATO Military Representatives also visited the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL), where they received a briefing on the current situation.
During the visit, General Petr Pavel met with the Georgian leaders – President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.