Georgia to join NATO despite territorial conflict (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
Despite that Georgia has had territorial conflict since 2008, the country will become a NATO member, and all the allies know it very well, James Appathurai, NATO secretary general's special representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, has told Trend.
A large-scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia the occupied territories.
Further speaking to Trend in an exclusive interview in Baku Feb. 16, Appathurai said Georgia's becoming a NATO member won't happen tomorrow, also because the country still has a lot of reforms to do, and that is what the sides are working on now.
"We are also working on thickening of our relationship, we hope for the quick resolution of the conflict with respect for the Georgia's territorial integrity. For now we are working on deepening of our relations and preparing Georgia for an eventual membership in the NATO," he added.
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