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NATO Membership Won't Tear 'Centuries-Old Ties' Between Georgia and Armenia

© AP Photo / Georgy AbdaladzeGeorgian servicemen stand at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center outside Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015
Georgian servicemen stand at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center outside Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Tbilisi's possible accession to NATO will not tear "centuries-old ties" between Georgia and Armenia, a former Georgian minister said.

YEREVAN (Sputnik) — Georgia's possible membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is unlikely to affect the long-lasting relations between Tbilisi and Yerevan, former Foreign Minister of Georgia Maia Panjikidze said Monday.

"It cannot be an obstacle. Armenia and Georgia have centuries-old ties. I think that the fact that Georgia wants to become a member of NATO and the European Union, and Armenia has other plans and ambitions, cannot be an obstacle for deepening the economic ties between the two states, and as I said, in the political field we have no problems," the diplomat said at the international conference, entitled "Upcoming Challenges: NATO, from Wales to Warsaw and Beyond" in Armenia’s capital of Yerevan, as quoted by the Armenpress news agency.

She expressed hope that Georgia's becoming a NATO member could be expected in the near future.

Georgian soldiers stand in formation during the inauguration ceremony of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center at the Krtsanisi military training base, outside Tbilisi, on August 27, 2015 - Sputnik International
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In 1992, Georgia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, later engaging in other NATO programs. In 2008, NATO supported Georgia's bid to join the Alliance, and established a commission to oversee the process of Georgian acceptance into NATO. Among the debated points in regard of Georgia's NATO membership is the country's location on the juncture of continents.

Armenia does not seek membership in NATO, but in a sustainable manner cooperates with the Alliance on a range of reforms, including defense, security and diplomacy areas. In particular, Armenia contributed to several NATO missions.

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