NATO summit in Wales in September “will not be about membership action plan” (MAP) for Georgia, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on June 25.
Instead, the Alliance will develop “substantive package” to bring Georgia closer to NATO, Rasmussen said, adding that specifics of the proposal have yet to be elaborated.
“The summit in Wales will not be about a Membership Action Plan, but about more support to bring Georgia closer to NATO,” he said when asked at a news conference in NATO headquarters about MAP for Georgia and details of “substantive package” of cooperation he announced earlier on June 25.
“It will be a substantive package,” Rasmussen continued. “We will work on that package in close collaboration with Georgia from now until the summit. So, I regret to say that I am not able to outline the specific elements of that package at this stage. It will be elaborated from now until the summit.”
“Let me stress that the decision we took in Bucharest in 2008 still stands and you will recall that we decided in Bucharest in 2008 that Georgia will become a member of NATO, provided, of course, that Georgia fulfills the necessary conditions. And the package we will prepare for the summit will bring Georgia closer to NATO,” he added.
At the 2008 Bucharest summit NATO leaders refused to offer MAP to Georgia, but pledged that Georgia will join the NATO sometime in the future. The Bucharest summit decision, however, also says that MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”; references to the need of going through MAP phase before joining the alliance are also made in NATO’s subsequent decisions in respect of Georgia.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting with Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili in Berlin on June 2 that she does not think MAP for Georgia will be on the agenda of the NATO summit in Wales. She also said that there are options other than MAP through which Georgia’s progress can be acknowledged in summit decisions.