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NATO, Georgia Defense Ministers Discuss Substantial Package
More than a dozen NATO allies are contributing to implementation of a substantial package of cooperation with Georgia, which among other measures also includes setting up of a joint training center in Georgia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on February 5.
"Several of them announced contributions during the meeting today," he said at a news conference after NATO-Georgia Commission meeting at the level of defense ministers in Brussels.
"They will partly contribute by providing personnel and partly they will contribute by providing financial support. In addition the United States will also be a key when it comes to NATO exercise in Georgia," Stoltenberg said.
"This training center is important for Georgia because they are going to train their troops there. It is important for NATO because we are going to train our troops there. And it is important for several partner countries which will also be able to train their troops in the new training center in Georgia," he said and also stressed that this is "a training center, not a military base."
Substantial package, which was endorsed by NATO leaders at the summit in Wales in September, 2014, also includes sending team of NATO advisers to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.
In a joint statement, released after the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting, the Alliance "noted the positive trends in Georgia's democratic development."
It also calls on Georgia "to continue implementation of reforms, including consolidating democratic institutions, taking forward judicial reforms, and ensuring full respect for the rule of law."
In the statement, NATO defense ministers "condemn steps taken by Russia in Georgia which are in breach of Russia's international obligations and commitments."
The NATO Secretary General said that Russia's treaty with breakaway Abkhazia on "alliance and strategic partnership" and planned new treaty with breakaway South Ossetia "are part of a disturbing pattern of destabilizing Russian behavior in its neighbourhood."
[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 05Feb15]
The Question of South Ossetia
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