BRUSSELS, April 3 (Itar-Tass) —— A forceful statement with regard to cooperation with Georgia may be made at the NATO Chicago summit in late May 2012, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a Tuesday press conference in Brussels. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was the other speaker.
He did not mention a possibility of granting a NATO Membership Action Plan to Georgia at the Chicago summit, thus abstaining to confirm related media reports of the past few weeks.
There is still no agreement in which form the summit will organize its meetings with partner states and in which form the summit will express its support to Georgia, Rasmussen said.
He noted that the statement on Georgia must have three main items. First of all, NATO will express its gratitude to Georgia for sending the largest military group of non-NATO member countries to Afghanistan. Secondly, the alliance will confirm an important contribution of Georgia to trans-Atlantic cooperation. Thirdly, the alliance will once again acknowledge and welcome the Georgian wish to join it, Rasmussen said.
He stressed that the decision taken at the NATO Bucharest summit in April 2008 remained in force. Back then the alliance refused to grant the Membership Action Plans to Georgia and Ukraine but made a political statement, which confirmed that they might become NATO members in the future. Rasmussen did not repeat the traditional phrase that Georgia failed to meet the alliance standards. On the contrary, he described Georgia as a model partner of NATO.
He also said that NATO recognized Georgia within its internationally acknowledged borders and did not recognize the latest elections in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
In turn, Saakashvili thanked NATO for its support to Georgia and its territorial integrity. His speech was highly flattering for NATO and its leaders.