Special representative: Georgia step by step approaches NATO
Georgia, Tbilisi, March 9 /Trend N.Kirtzkhalia/
The final decision on NATO membership is made by its members, and Georgia, step by step approaches the alliance, NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai told the Georgian magazine Tabula.
Appathurai said that NATO made a decision in Bucharest (2008) that Georgia will be a NATO member if it wants it again, and, of course, when it will meet the standards.
"We have just agreed on a package of measures aimed at, as we call it, the expansion of the ties between Georgia and NATO," he said. "Georgia has taken steps to establish relations with NATO over the past few years and after 2008."
He also stressed that the improvement of relations between Russia and NATO will create a better political climate, including such countries as Georgia.
Appathurai said that the decision has not been made yet how and in what form the countries wishing to join NATO will be mentioned at the NATO summit, to be held in Chicago in late May. However, he also added that it will not be the "enlargement summit" and that the invitations for membership will not be sent at this summit.
Georgia shows that it can be a part of the solution, rather than a problem by contributing to the ongoing operations in Afghanistan (ISAF) under NATO aegis, Appathurai said.
Georgia's presence in Afghanistan is part of an important international mission. Georgia's contribution is important and valuable. Georgia has shown, and shows that it contributes to the international security by making this contribution, which is important in quantitative terms and without limits, Appathurai said.