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Tbilisi, 25 May 2017 – NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly opens talks Friday hard on the heels of the Brussels special meeting of Allied Heads of State and Government, to take up some of the key security challenges discussed there: from the challenge posed by Russia and the fight against terrorism, to burden-sharing between European and North American allies.
In these tough times for the Euro-Atlantic Alliance, due most of all to the pressures from the southern and the eastern flanks, it is more than ever important to reaffirm the principles of unity and solidarity that have guaranteed global stability for more than 65 years,” said President Paolo Alli, the Assembly’s president, ahead of both meetings. “I intend to guarantee the commitment of the NATO PA to support and strengthen those values.The NATO PA brings together over 250 members of parliament from allied countries, plus lawmakers from associate, partner and observer delegations. It serves as the bridge between the Alliance and voters in the 28 member nations.
Its four-day meeting in Tbilisi will give a first chance for legislators to discuss Thursday’s Brussels special meeting, which marks the NATO debuts of US President Donald Trump and his newly elected French counter-part Emmanuel Macron.
President Alli will attend the Brussels meeting and report back to the Parliamentary Assembly. The Tbilisi agenda features debates on pressing security issues ranging from the global and multifaceted challenge posed by Russia; to fighting terrorism; the role of the Alliance in Afghanistan; ballistic missile defences in the light of North Korea’s tests; climate change; and the need to improve military capabilities with adequate defence budgets to match the challenges facing the Alliance.
The multiple and complex threats we face today require us to reinvest in our defence,” Alli said. “We have committed to increase defence spending to 2 percent of GDP, but we must also ensure that this increased investment translates into actual increased capabilities and a fair contribution to NATO missions and operations.Meeting for the first time for a Spring Session in Georgia, the Assembly is also expected to adopt a declaration stating, “unwavering support to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration” and urging NATO governments to “continue rendering strong political and practical support to Georgia in the process of NATO integration” and “to advance further the political dimension of Georgia’s NATO integration in order to create the conditions to grant the Membership Action Plan to Georgia in the future.
Alli and other members of the Assembly are scheduled to travel to the Administrative Boundary Line marking the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, illegally occupied since Russia’s military intervention in 2008.
Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze will address the plenary session of the Assembly meeting on Monday, along with NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, and the Chairman of Ukraine’s Parliament Andriy Parubiy.
Tbilisi Session Agenda
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