Poland supports Georgia's EU, NATO aspirations - official
Georgia's cooperation with NATO, the country's Atlantic and European aspirations and the situation in areas under separatist control were the topics of Polish-Georgian talks on Tuesday.
Poland supports Georgia's efforts towards membership in Western structures, head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN) Pawel Soloch told PAP after holding talks with Georgia's National Security Council Secretary David Rakviashvili, who started a two-day visit to Warsaw on Tuesday.
He added that Poland also believed that Georgia as NATO's partner could play a role similar to that of Finland and Sweden.
"We would very much like the matter of Georgia's pro-Atlantic, pro-European aspirations not to fade, especially at a time when we have a new US administration and a transition period in the European Union in connection with Brexit and elections in Europe", Paweł Soloch said.
"The EU's introduction of visa-free travel for Georgian citizens is good news and also affects the country's domestic situation: neighbouring countries and forces that want to maintain separatist tendencies in Ossetia are receiving a signal that Georgia as a pro-Western country is getting closer to the goal of EU and NATO membership", he added.
P. Soloch underlined that from Poland's viewpoint "the declarations from the NATO summit in Bucharest envisaging Georgia's membership remain valid".
Georgia is "interested in taking part in all possible formats of regional, bilateral cooperation,
strengthening relations with NATO and the EU", Soloch also said.
P. Soloch told PAP that the two officials had discussed Georgia's relations with NATO, saying that Georgia could play a similar role in the Black Sea region as Finland and Sweden, which are not NATO members, play in the Baltic region.
Poland's stance involves highlighting Georgia's importance as a partner country that is the most committed to allied operations, head of BBN also said, adding that 900 Georgian soldiers were currently serving in Afghanistan.
The two officials also expressed their concern regarding Russia's activity in Georgian territory occupied by Russia.
Polish President Andrzej Duda is to visit Georgia in the coming months, according to Soloch.
Rakviashvili's two-day visit will include meetings at Poland's Defence Ministry and Foreign Ministry, the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM).