NATO Week Raises Awareness of Georgia’s Path to Integration

73% of Georgians are in favor of NATO membership

From NATO:  The annual NATO Week in Georgia was launched in the capital Tbilisi on Monday 3 June. The opening ceremony was followed by a seminar involving representatives from three Western Balkans countries that, like Georgia, aspire to NATO membership. In parallel, a two-day event briefed Georgian journalists about NATO’s current policies and agenda. Other events involving school children, students, and representatives of civil society and local and national media took place across the country in the days that followed.

"The European and Euro-Atlantic choice of Georgia does not belong to any particular government or any particular party. It is foremost the choice of the Georgian people who have made their firm decision,” emphasised Alex Petriashvili, Georgian State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, at the opening ceremony.

“At its core, NATO is about values and the respect of these values: democracy, human rights, rule of law,” explained James Appathurai, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia.

“These values don’t belong to the Euro-Atlantic area. They are universal and no-one wishes to impose them. But if you wish to join our community we expect you to share them – and uphold them. NATO Week is an excellent opportunity to talk about these values,” added Appathurai.

Raising awareness of NATO’s integration policy and communicating to the public about participation in NATO-led operations was the main focus of a seminar involving Georgian officials and diplomatic representatives from other countries aspiring to join NATO, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. . . .

Georgia’s drive towards NATO membership continues to be widely supported in the country. A nationally representative sample poll taken in March 2013 revealed that 73 per cent of Georgians approve of the government’s stated goal of NATO membership.  (photo: NATO)

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