The 12th Georgia Defence and Security Conference resumed its session in the morning. The second day of the international event started with the discussion on NATO’s “open door policy” after the Brussels Summit. The session was guided by the Jamestown Foundation and moderated by the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality of Georgia Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.

Georgia’s Transformation of the road to NATO Membership was discussed by the Head of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia Rosaria Puglisi, Dr. Peter Brookes of the Heritage Foundation, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary Istvan Balogh, Ambassador of Germany to Georgia Hubert Knirsch and Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia Fatma Yazgan.

Every participant of the panel underlined Georgia’s successful transformation on the road to NATO membership and declared that “open door policy” of the North Atlantic Alliance remains active and the Georgia will definitely become member of NATO. It was noted that during the last decade Georgia has made important steps in the process of integration into the Alliance, especially in the field of defence; that country is ready for NATO membership and that obstacles by Russia should not be the reason to evade Georgia’s NATO membership.

“I support Georgia’s membership in NATO. We have heard about your reforms that are in line with the priorities of the Trump administration, which was confirmed by the letter of the U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Although, the real reason is Russia as it employs hostile actions and evades Georgia’s membership in NATO. A third party has no right to veto NATO enlargement. NATO membership is the subject of political will, Georgia has to continue the successful path of transformation and it will definitely become the member of NATO”, – said the Senior Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement Michael Carpenter.

In his address the German Ambassador recalled once again the action and support by the Georgian military personnel during the attack on German Consulate in Afghanistan: “Georgia will become the member of NATO. NATO declared that its enlargement and new members will not pose threat to Russia. NATO enlargement means more security in Europe.”

Fatma Yazgan remembered the process of Turkey’s accession to NATO and underlined that Georgia had to become the member of the North Atlantic Alliance well before and that country should rapidly get the Membership Action Plan (MAP).