US official OK's Georgian ambition to join NATO

Georgia now has good chances to join NATO, and this ambition is regarded positively, member of the US Committee on NATO Bruce Jackson, who is now in Tbilisi (Georgia), announced in an interview with local television. He praised the relatively peaceful change of political regime in Georgia and stressed the need for democratic reforms in the country. Jackson expressed hope that there would be no drastic changes in Georgia's Western-oriented foreign policies however.

The US official added that the Georgian defense minister would deliver a report at the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2004, and the report would receive serious consideration.

According to earlier reports, in November NATO Secretary General George Robertson announced that Georgia's willingness to join NATO was unfounded, and it had no chances to receive NATO membership in the near future.

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