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NATO looking at next steps to bring Georgia closer to alliance: envoy

NATO secretary-general's special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia on Thursday said that the alliance is looking at next steps to bring Georgia closer to NATO.

James Appathurai made the remarks at a joint press briefing along with Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze.

"I can tell you that in overall this assessment in NATO is positive," said the special representative, referring to NATO assessment of progresses made by aspirant countries.

"Georgia continues to improve and that's because of the hard work done in this country," he said.

"We have consistently assessed Georgia's progress based on two things reforms and Georgia's contribution to international peace and security and those will remain the prisms through which we look at this progress; in other words we will judge Georgia on Georgia's merits and regardless what's happening in elsewhere and regardless of comments from the Kremlin or elsewhere."

The NATO special representative arrived in Tbilisi on Thursday.

NATO is scheduled to have its foreign ministerial meeting in June and its summit in September to discuss assessment of progresses made by aspirant countries.

[Source: Xinhua, Tbilisi, 01May14]

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