On October 4, 2007 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in cooperation with the Center for International Relations (Warsaw) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States hosted a daylong conference: “Georgia in the Trans-Atlantic Security Debate”. The speakers and participants included a large delegation from Poland and the representatives of Georgian NGOs, the government, and opposition parties.
The keynote speech was delivered by Batu Kutelia, Deputy Minister of Defense who discussed the NATO’s essential role in maintaining stability in Europe and beyond as well as Georgia’s possible contribution. A session on Georgia’s path to NATO membership sparked a discussion about Georgia’s progress on that path, and on reforms more generally. While participants expressed a various points of views on these matters, all agreed that NATO membership is central to Georgia’s foreign policy and that a Membership Action Plan for Georgia is imperative. Many of the Polish participants offered views based on their own experience with Poland’s accession to NATO and the discussion was joined by others who had been involved in earlier rounds of NATO enlargement.
This conference reinforced the strong and growing ties between Georgia and Poland on the levels of governments and civil societies. Poland is the powerful advocate for Georgia in NATO.