Since the day of gaining independence, the Georgian society has made a firm decision about its own vector of future development and, therefore, has defined full membership to NATO and the European Union as a fundamental direction of the country's foreign and security policy. Both priorities have been enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia.
Today, our country is on the path of irreversible and comprehensive democratic transformation, with the implementation of the Association Agreement and the Annual Action Plan, we are carrying out major sectoral reforms and getting as close as possible to European and Euro-Atlantic structures, which is - Georgia's final membership to NATO and EU. Successful achievements in these reforms are recognized by our foreign partners and international institutions, including NATO.
Georgia has been participating in NATO's Partnership for Peace program (PfP) since 1994, and at the NATO Prague Summit in 2002, we formally stated our aspirations to join the Alliance. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, the Alliance decided that Georgia would become a member of NATO.
The NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) and the Annual National Programme (ANP) are instruments of practical cooperation and political consultation between Georgia and the Alliance that contribute to the country's Euro-Atlantic integration. Along with a high level of political dialogue, the mechanisms that help increase Georgia's defense capabilities and resilience are particularly important.
In this regard, one of the main priorities for us remains the effective implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP). Through the active efforts of the parties, all NATO Allies and several partner countries are already involved in the implementation of the abovementioned package.
As a NATO aspirant country, Georgia has proven to be committed to a common Euro-Atlantic security and is a reliable partner of the Alliance. Georgia, along with Allied and partner countries, has participated in international and NATO operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Mali and Central Africa.
It should be noted that among the non-NATO countries, Georgia was represented by one of the largest military contingent in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan. About 900 troops participated in the NATO Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan, making Georgia one of the largest contributors to the Mission. Georgia is also involved in NATO Response Force (NRF) and contributes to maritime Operation Sea Guardian.
Georgia's intensive participation in Alliance operations has significantly increased our compatibility with Allied forces. In 2014, Georgia was granted the status of one of the most interoperable partners and was invited to the Enhanced Opportunities Partners (EOP) group together with four other nations (Australia, Jordan, Finland, and Sweden). The abovementioned allows the country to enjoy enhanced opportunities of cooperation with NATO.
Georgia continues to cooperate with the Alliance on the Black Sea Security. We are actively involved in the strategic discussions with NATO on this issue, as well as working to ensure Georgia's involvement in practical activities developed by the Alliance to strengthen Black Sea security.
Our task is not only to think about how to deal with the existing threats, but also how to face tomorrow’s challenges. Accordingly, Georgia contributed to the initiative "NATO 2030" under the leadership of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. This process determined what changes the Alliance needed in order to become a stronger organization in the future. Georgia's involvement in the process reaffirms our active role as a NATO aspirant country, which seeks to help the North Atlantic Treaty Organization adapt to the new security environment.
We pay special attention to the situation in the occupied territories and the protection of the rights of our fellow citizens there. Our country appreciates the international support of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders.
It should be noted that on June 29-30, 2022, at the NATO Summit held in Madrid, the Alliance adopted a new Strategic Concept, which outlines all the main issues of critical importance for Georgia. It states the Allied commitment to the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a member of NATO. The document talks about strategic importance of the Black Sea region and NATO's readiness to support aspirant countries in their Euro-Atlantic membership process.
Symbolically, the Alliance reaffirmed the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit in the statement made at the meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Bucharest on November 29-30, 2022. Additionally, effective decisions were made at the Ministerial meeting in the favor of the implementation of the Tailored Support Document for Georgia, which was approved at the Madrid Summit. The main objectives of the package are strengthening the compatibility, defence capabilities and resilience of Georgia.
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