Georgia says will meet NATO membership standards in ‘2-3 years’

Georgia will be technically ready to join NATO in two to three years, Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues Giorgi Baramidze said on Thursday.

“Georgia has everything it needs to continue democratic reform as well as defense and security reform… and become a NATO member,” he said after a meeting with James Appathurai, the NATO secretary general’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Appathurai said the reform process in Georgia and NATO-Georgia relations “are going in right direction” and both sides now “need to reinforce the success.”

He said Georgia “is working very hard” to meet the membership standards but “there is more to do.”

He reiterated NATO’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.

“NATO will not compromise when it comes to territorial integrity of this country; there will be no recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent by the NATO allies. These are very firm principles on which our relationship is based,” Appathurai said.

Georgia’s reform targets to meet NATO standards, as defined in the Annual National Program, are reviewed annually by the alliance.

TBILISI, April 7 (RIA Novosti) 

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