TBILISI, DFWatch – Nato’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has promised that the issue of Georgia’s membership in the alliance will also be reviewed at the summit in Chicago next May.
Rasmussen said this at a press conference with President Saakashvili in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea shore.
“We have not yet finished the preparations for the Chicago Summit. There are six months before the summit and work on the program is still underway. Everything can happen. We have not made any decisions yet, but without doubt, NATO allies will discuss the Georgia issue at the summit. There is a talk about how things will happen,” Rasmussen stated.
According to him, a special document will be adopted on the summit which will reflect the progress in the reforms in Georgia.
“I hope that the document, which will be adopted at the Chicago Summit, will reflect the progress which we have seen in Georgia,” the Secretary General noted. But he added that Georgia has to pay all of its attention to implementing the reforms; because the relations between Nato and Georgia will depend on it to a large degree.
At all his appearances during his two-day visit the Secretary General touched upon the conditions for a Georgian Nato membership. Special emphasis was made on the question of fair elections.
It is important to get in place an election code which will allow all political subjects to equally participate in the elections, Rasmussen said as he faced the TV cameras standing next to Saakashvili in Batumi.
“There should be improved efforts towards election reform. There should be an election code which will guarantee all political actors to equally participate in the elections. It’s also important to improve the political culture, which accordingly respects minorities’ opinion,” Rasmussen said.
According to him, areas where reforms are needed include freedom of speech, media and the court system.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of the media, and freedom of the court system should be guaranteed. In 2008 at the Bucharest Summit we said that Georgia will become a Nato member. I supported this idea then, and I support it today. This decision is still valid, but reforms are necessary, despite the fact that progress is really obvious in this direction. You are achieving the progress in terms of Nato membership, and in comparison with 2008 you are much closer to the alliance. But we are perfectly aware that membership requires certain reforms,” the Nato Secretary General stated.