Turkey supports Georgia’s NATO membership

Turkey supports Georgia’s NATO membership

TBILISI - Anadolu Agency
Turkey supports Georgia’s NATO membership

Georgia's Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli (L) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) address a NATO-Georgia Commission defense ministers meeting at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Turkey has said it supported the membership of Georgia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and was promoting its entrance bid. 

“You can be sure that we will bring this issue up in the strongest format at the NATO summit that is going to be organized in Warsaw in July,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in Tbilisi on Feb. 17 during a joint press conference with his Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Janelidze. 

Çavuşoğlu said he hoped the Georgian citizens would be able to Europe’s Schengen area visa-free as of this year, when Turkish citizens will as well hopefully, if the proposed refugee readmission deal is accepted by Turkey and the EU.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey aimed to increase its level of the bilateral relations with Georgia to inter-state high level cooperation, adding that the first meeting of this new formation would be held in March or April. 

“Of course we, the two foreign ministers, will conduct the coordination of this [meeting] and we want it to not only be a symbolic meeting but also a meeting where results are being achieved,” said Çavuşoğlu. 

Speaking at the press conference, Janelidze said they perceived Turkey as “the closest friendly state,” and that this was reflected in the relations between the two countries. 

During his one-day visit to Georgia, Çavuşoğlu also held talks with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili.