Meeting in the framework of the Georgia-NATO Interparliamentary Council (GNIC), the NATO PA leadership and members of the Georgian delegation held a frank and open exchange of views on the evolving political crisis in Georgia, wider developments in the region, cooperation with NATO and the NATO PA, as well as the country’s active contribution to Euro-Atlantic security.
This parliamentary dialogue between Allied and Georgian lawmakers comes as yet another attempt at mediating the protracted political crisis failed last week. Addressing this deadlock, NATO PA President Gerald E. Connolly (United States) stated that “the political situation in Georgia remains a cause of deep concern (…) Throughout this crisis, our Assembly has been calling on the Georgian government to act with restraint and for the opposition to respect the rule of law. We have called on majority and opposition to act in a constructive spirit and good faith, in the interest of a stable and democratic Georgia that can pursue and advance its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration.”
Stressing the importance of adherence to democratic values as a key condition for NATO membership, President Connolly affirmed the Assembly’s ongoing readiness to “support Georgia on its Euro-Atlantic and democratic path.”
As Russia is building up its military presence in and around Ukraine in what President Connolly called “reckless and irresponsible” actions, he also reaffirmed the NATO PA’s condemnation of Russia’s ongoing aggression and the Assembly’s “unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”
The Georgia-NATO Interparliamentary Council, created in 2009 as a parliamentary counterpart to the NATO-Georgia Commission, includes members of the Georgian delegation to the NATO PA, the Assembly’s Bureau (President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer) and the Committee Chairpersons. The Georgian side was led by Irakli Beraia, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament’s Defence and Security Committee.