Julianne Smith, the United States Ambassador to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, hailed Georgia’s “excellent and very close” relationship with the alliance and highlighted the country as NATO’s one of the “closest partners”, in an interview with Imedi TV on Friday.
Smith said Georgia’s participation in NATO operations and the “considerable contributions”, as well as “great sacrifices”, made by the country would always be “remembered and respected”, stressing both Georgia and the alliance wanted to deepen the existing partnership.
“We want to assist Georgia […] in strengthening democratic processes and institutions, the rule of law, human rights. Great job has been done, but there is much work ahead of us, and together we can work on enhancing the partnership and helping Georgia on its way to NATO membership”, the Ambassador noted, adding the country met “many criterias” to become the alliance member, but the “good work” on other issues should be continued too.
We would also like to see as much political unity as possible. This is important for the Georgian people and it is also significant as a signal to Russia that they will not be able to divide the Georgian people, they will not be able to interfere in internal political affairs. This also strengthens Georgia’s place in the Euro-Atlantic space”, Smith stressed.
She also emphasised that Georgia had to continue working on the fulfilment of the European Union recommendations, which would “certainly” benefit the country’s integration into the alliance, despite NATO and EU being “two different institutions”.
Both NATO and EU want to see Georgia achieve its Euro-Atlantic aspirations”, Smith added, stressing the US’s wish to see “peaceful and stable Georgia within its internationally recognised borders”.
The US Ambassador to NATO said Georgia, along with Ukrainian people, would receive a “strong signal of support” from the alliance during its summit in Vilnius in July, which would be a message of “unity, continued support and strengthening of relations”.
Source : Agenda