Minister of Defence of Georgia Tinatin Khidasheli commented on the decision taken at the NATO Ministerial about Open Door Policy.
“First of all I’d like to congratulate this significant success to Montenegro. Invitation of Montenegro to start accession talks with the North Atlantic Alliance is a clear message for the aspirant countries that NATO’s door remains open. Foreign Minister took a very important decision and as a result Georgia’s issue has finally moved from the “Partnership Basket” to the Open Door, i.e. “Enlargement Basket”. The communiqué officially states that Georgia has all practical tools to prepare for membership. The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is a political decision in the context of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration we need for membership but not for achieving progress on the path to accession. Georgia has achieved a significant progress since the Bucharest Summit. At this stage Georgia is effectively implementing the 7th cycle of the Annual National Program (ANP) which is one of the practical tools of preparation for membership of countries having MAP. Georgia is the only aspirant country having additional two mechanisms – NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) and Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP). Therefore Georgia has all preconditions to qualify the necessary criteria for membership and achieve progress in integration process. NATO decision reconfirms that Georgia is important partner for NATO. The North Atlantic Alliance is ready to continue mobilization of resources for successful implementation of the SNGP aimed at increasing the defence capabilities of the country that will accelerate the NATO integration process. It is worth noting that in preparation period for Warsaw Summit, the Alliance will create new practical ways for successful implementation of the SNGP via initiation of high-level political dialogues. I’d like to respond to a very correct message of the Slovak Foreign Minister that this encouraging statement should be a clear signal that the enlargement policy continues and the message Montenegro received from the Alliance is the best for all other countries aspiring to join NATO. Statement of the Lithuanian Foreign Minister is even more encouraging and full of optimism saying – “We aim for Georgia to be the next”, Tinatin Khidasheli said.