Jens Stoltenberg : Georgia is really a highly valued partner of NATO

Georgia is really a highly valued partner of NATO, - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the meeting with President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili on January 23.

“Let me start by congratulating you on your recent elections. It’s a great honor to meet with you at the headquarters of our Alliance. Georgia makes strong contributions to our shared security. You are one of the largest troop contributors to our training mission in Afghanistan. You also contribute to the NATO Response Force. And in March, you will host a joint NATO-Georgia exercise. With the participation of 17 NATO Allies. All of this demonstrates that Georgia is a unique partner of the Alliance. And that our partnership is getting even closer,” the NATO Secretary General said.

Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the country’s progress on reform, and pledged NATO’s support as Georgia continues to prepare for membership in the Alliance.

“We also welcome the progress you are making on reforms. Including on more effective security and defence institutions and modernising your armed forces. I encourage you to continue on this path. And I welcome your commitment to match the NATO guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence.

NATO fully supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. Which includes the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the Secretary General said.

Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to end its recognition of and withdraw its forces from both regions.