TBILISI, DFWatch – NATO is to strengthen its efforts to further democratic reforms in Georgia as part of preparing the country for membership in the alliance.

“Today we also have an opportunity to reinforce further the cooperation between NATO and Georgia through supporting Georgia’s reforms,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said March 7 at a meeting of the NATO-Georgia commission in Brussels.

A number of activities were agreed at the session, including ‘Strengthening civil service reform, inter-operability with the Alliance, as well the capacity for civil democratic oversight of the defense and security sector in Georgia,’ a NATO press release says.

The session was attended by Georgia’s National Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria.

The NATO-Georgia commission is the main mechanism in the frame of which partnership is discussed, including implementation of reforms. The alliance annually reviews progress within the program.

NATO’s Secretary General thanked Georgia for exceptional contribution into Afghan operation.

“We welcome the remarkable contribution your country is making to the ISAF operation, notably the battalion in Helmand. We also appreciate your decision to almost double your contribution.“

Two days ago before the meeting NATO’s Secretary General made a comment about Georgia-NATO relations and said that the planned summit in Chicago will once more confirm the open door policy of the Alliance.

“No third country… no third party can make decisions on behalf of NATO. NATO decides on our open-door policy. And NATO’s door remains open,” he said.

He also said that the decision in 2008 at NATO’s Bucharest summit is still in force and Georgia will become a member of NATO when all criteria are met.