11:18 GMT +314 December 2019
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    U.S. servicemen walk past U.S. M1A2 Abrams tanks as they arrive for the joint U.S.-Georgian exercise Noble Partner 2016 in Vaziani, Georgia, May 5, 2016

    Progress in NATO-Georgia Ties to Eventually Lead to Membership

    © REUTERS / David Mdzinarishvili
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    NATO allies welcomed at the summit in Poland the significant progress in cooperation with Georgia and agreed that Georgia-NATO relationship contains all the tools to prepare for eventual membership, according to the joint statement of the NATO-Georgia commission at the level of foreign ministers.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) — Cooperation between Georgia and NATO has officially begun in 1994 when the country became a member of the Partnership for Peace program. Since 2004, the cooperation has become much closer. In April 2008, at the NATO Bucharest Summit, the allied heads of state and government agreed to Georgia becoming a NATO member in the future.

    "We welcome the significant progress realized since the 2008 Bucharest Summit. Georgia's relationship with the Alliance contains all the practical tools to prepare for eventual membership," the statement read.

    According to the document, NATO has decided on new steps to intensify our cooperation.

    "These initiatives include increased support for Georgia's Training and Education, including through a possible trust fund project, and Strategic Communications. Allies will provide support to the development of Georgia's air defense and air surveillance. We will also deepen our focus on security in the Black Sea region," the joint statement added.

    The NATO-Georgia commission's ministers "look forward to the visit of the North Atlantic Council in permanent session in Georgia this autumn," according to the statement.

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