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Statement by Georgian President E. Shevarnadze at the EAPC Summit Meeting, Prague, 22 November 2002.

Georgia´s Application for joining NATO

                  Anyone who has spent at least a week in Georgia knows well that by virtue of the
                  dynamic development of the civil society, practically every problem of serious
                  concern becomes here a subject of heated public debate. Yet, I can also assure you
                  that perhaps the only issue in the recent years against which no reasonable argument
                  has ever been suggested is the Georgian public's perspective on the future of the
                  country's national security which is widely seen in the context of the country's
                  membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. I am happy that at the Summit of the
                  Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council I can declare that Georgia is determined to be a
                  full member of NATO and is resolved to work hard to prepare for this historic

                  For a country like Georgia this is not a short road, yet not as long as it seemed only
                  a couple of years ago. This is evidenced among other things by the State Program
                  for the Euro-Atlantic Integration developed by the National Security Council of
                  Georgia, the ongoing reform of the Georgian army consistent with the standards
                  NATO demands, as well as by the units trained under the American-Georgian Train
                  and Equip program that will eventually form the main body of the streamlined
                  Georgian armed forces. Also I am fully convinced that the engagement in the
                  Individual Partnership Action Plan will create incentive for Georgia to accelerate and
                  more boldly pursue political, economic and military reforms. We also realize that the
                  admissions will be reserved only for those countries that aside from expecting to be
                  defended and assisted by the Alliance, will at the same time be in a position to
                  contribute to a full range of its missions by safeguarding and promoting the
                  Euro-Atlantic values in their respective regions.