Georgia wants to join NATO, NATO is not really enthusiastic

Georgia has confirmed its intention to join NATO and is professing readiness to develop co-operation in the framework of the Partnership For Peace program, Georgian President Edward Shevardnadze announced after a meeting with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson.

Georgia has worked out a program of how to integrate with NATO and will discuss it at the next session of the National Security Council, he said at a press conference.

On his part, Robertson said he welcomed Georgia's aspiration to join the alliance but thought it still had a long and difficult way to go.

We welcome Georgia's wish to join NATO and we greatly appreciate its contribution to the Partnership for Peace program and the peacekeeping operation in the Balkans, he said.

In the course of a tete-a-tete meeting, Shevardnadze and Robertson discussed the progress of reforms in the Georgian armed forces, settlement of the Abkhazian conflict, and the world situation in general.

Robertson is leaving Tbilisi for Yerevan on Wednesday evening.

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