TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian defense minister says there has been too much focus on her country being approved for a formalized plan toward NATO membership, called a MAP, since the alliance can accept Georgia as a member directly, she argues.
NATO envoy for Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai Sunday told the Public Broadcaster’s Channel 1 that Georgia will not be given a MAP at the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw.
Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli responded to this on Monday.
“If you recall my opinion as defense minister, I think that Georgia doesn’t need a MAP. Georgia has all the instruments today, and they are increasing every day, and ten and twenty times more than any country having MAP used to have. MAP only has political meaning,” she said.
The minister believes that the idea of getting a MAP has taken on a sacred meaning for Georgians, but that Georgia doesn’t need a MAP in order to join NATO. Georgia is not fighting to receive a MAP, but to join NATO, Khidasheli underlined, and added that it is more important to have security guarantees.
Appathurai said Sunday that the MAP issue is hard to control and the process will be harmed if MAP is named as a goal at every political meeting, because it becomes a reason for disappointment.
Certain countries are ready to make a political decision about Georgia, but some are not, Appathurai continued, and he is familiar with the position of some countries, which are against because they believe that without security guarantees there will be a risk connected with granting Georgia a MAP.