NATO Days officially open in Georgia
17 April, 2018
NATO Days officially open in Georgia
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has opened NATO Days. According to the press service of the President of Georgia, NATO Days are being held for the 11th time with the support of the Information Center on NATO and EU, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NATO Liaison Office in Georgia and Embassy of Bulgaria in Georgia.

Giorgi Margvelashvili addressed the guests and talked about the significance of Georgia's integration into NATO. According to the president, NATO membership is a clear choice of the
Georgian people.

He said Georgia's participation in NATO peacekeeping missions is strongly appreciated by our partners. Georgia has clearly expressed willingness to engage in NATO formats.
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President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has opened NATO Days

"It has been repeatedly emphasized that Georgia's involvement in the Black Sea security discussions is adequate and Georgia is committed to performing its responsibility that will bring a more stable and protected region. This year is very important, as we are preparing for another important summit, where we hope that the issue of Georgia will by duly presented. We are working for this,"- Margvelashvili said.

According to the president, the information and propaganda war is going on against NATO and in general against the Western values, which requires more active involvement and response from us.
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NATO days will last until May 1 and will be held in eight Georgian regions

"This is a political reality not only for Georgia but also for NATO member states. We are united around the goal to inform the population about the truth we serve and values we share" , - said Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The President thanked the organizers of the Week and expressed hope that this will be another important step to consolidate our public opinion and strengthen our readiness.
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Giorgi Margvelashvili stressed the importance of Georgia's integration into NATO

The event dedicated to the NATO days was attended by the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, members of the Cabinet of Ministers, legislative and executive authorities, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps.

NATO days will last until May 1 and will be held in eight regions of Georgia.
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A NATO-Georgia public diplomatic forum will be held during this time

A NATO-Georgia public diplomatic forum will be held during this time, involving local and foreign non-governmental organizations, analysts, the government of Georgia and NATO representatives.

A range of information and entertainment events are scheduled in eight regions, including those with ethnic minorities, the NATO and EU Information Centre announced.

Georgia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) relations officially began in 1994 when Georgia joined the NATO-run Partnership for Peace. Georgia has moved quickly following the Rose Revolution in 2003 to seek closer ties and eventual membership with NATO.
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Georgia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) relations officially began in 1994

Georgia's powerful northern neighbor, Russia, has opposed the closer ties, including those expressed at the 2008 Bucharest summit where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization. In the 7 December 2011 statement of the North Atlantic Council Georgia was designated as an "aspirant country".

Complications in the relationship between NATO and Georgia includes presence of Russian forces in Georgian territory as a result of multiple recent conflicts, like the 2008 Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) War, over the territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
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Complications in the relationship between NATO and Georgia includes presence of Russian forces in Georgian territory

Georgia's effort to join NATO began in 2005. NATO and Georgia both signed an agreement on the appointment of Partnership for Peace (PfP) liaison officer on February 14, 2005. The liaison office between them came into force then and was assigned to Georgia.

On March 2, 2005, the agreement was signed on the provision of the host nation supporting and aiding transit of NATO forces and NATO personnel. On March 6–9, 2006, the IPAP implementation interim assessment team arrived in Tbilisi. On April 13, 2006, the discussion of the assessment report on implementation of the Individual Partnership Action Plan was held at NATO Headquarters, within 26+1 format.
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Georgia is the furthest of all countries currently considering NATO membership

Located on the northeastern border of NATO member Turkey, Georgia is the furthest of all countries currently considering NATO membership. Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty limits membership extension to European states. Georgia's location on the juncture of continents is a subject of debate, yet similarly positioned Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952 (but Turkey has a part of its territory clearly in the European continent, over 600 miles to the West and in the European Shores of the Black Sea, while Georgia has traditionally been considered as the northernmost area of Western Asia.)
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Russia sees NATO's eastward expansion as a threat against their strategic interests in Europe

Russia sees NATO's eastward expansion as a threat against their strategic interests in Europe and has accused the West of having double standards. In 2014, prior to its 65th anniversary since its creation, NATO announced that it would not be offering any new countries membership into the organization that year. Analysts confirmed this as a sign that NATO members are becoming skeptical about further Eastern expansion due to worries about Russian retaliation to these new security guarantees so close to is borders.
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Georgia believes that membership in NATO is a guarantee of stability to the region

Georgia believes that membership in NATO is a guarantee of stability to the region by acting as a counterweight to Russia, which it considers a dangerous neighbor. This view was once again confirmed by the referendum in 2008 in which the majority of Georgians voted in favour of NATO membership.

In 2006, the Georgian parliament voted unanimously for a bill which calls for the integration of Georgia into NATO. On January 5, 2008 Georgia held a non-binding referendum on NATO membership with 77% voting in favor of joining the organization.

Related stories:

The Bucharest Summit Revisited

Occupation and presence of Russian troops in occupied regions remain main threat to Georgian state

"Georgia existed way before NATO, will be around when NATO disappears'' - The Definitive Luke Coffey Interview
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