NATO secretary general to visit Georgia in 2019

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TBILISI, December 27. /TASS/. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Georgia in March 2019, Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani said on Thursday.

“Georgia’s cooperation with NATO will be expanded next year. Exchanges of visits will promote this process. Thus, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Georgia in March 2019,” he said in an interview with the local television channel Maestro.

According to the Georgian top diplomat, while in Georgia the NATO secretary general will visit the NATO-Georgia drills NATOGEO EX.

Georgia has been cooperating with NATO since the late 1990s. In November 2002, Georgia’s then President Eduard Shevardnadze announced his country’s plans to join the alliance. These plans were reiterated by the next president, Mikhail Saakashvili. The new government that came to power in October 2012 continues the course towards integration into NATO. Stoltenberg visited Georgia in 2015 and 2016. He promised that Georgia would be granted NATO membership but did not say when.

In the meantime, a number of local politicians are categorically against Georgia’s joining any military political blocs. Thus, former parliament speaker and now leader of the Democratic Movement United Georgia party, Nino Burdzhanadze, has repeatedly said that “neither the United States nor NATO can resolve Georgia’s problems.” These problems, in her words, can be settled only through normalization of relations with Russia.

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