2010 / 11 / 08

On November 8, 2010 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies along with the Georgian Security Analysis Center (GSAC) hosted a public discussion- “Looking toward the NATO Lisbon Summit”. The chairman of the  discussion was Alexander Rondeli, the President of the Foundation. The speakers included Amb. David J. Smith, Director, Georgian Security Analysis Center; Toomas Lukk, Ambassador of the Republic of Estonia to Georgia; Amb. Irakli Menagarishvili, Chairman of the Atlantic Council of Georgia and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and Elene Khoshtaria, Deputy State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration.

The event caused great interest and up to 120 people atttended the discussion.  Elene Khoshtaria delivered an opening speech with the review of Georgian progress toward NATO. She reviewed implementation of the Annual National Plan and argued that Georgia is still on track for NATO Membership. Ambassador Lukk argued that geopolitically, NATO is still the right choice for Georgia and put this in context by comparing it to Estonia’s earlier experience. Irakli Menagarishvili examined Georgia-NATO relations from a position outside the government. When delivering his speech, David Smith expressed his pessimism about the Summit, arguing that too much alliance attention is devoted to Russia. However, he agreed with Khoshtaria that Georgia has made excellent progress and should still be a prime candidate for alliance membership.

After the presentations, the audience also joined the discussion. The attending audience included  representatives from the Government, NGOs, foreign diplomats, foreign experts and students. During the event, “Chatham House rules” applied.

Public Discussion - “Looking toward the NATO Lisbon Summit”, Nov 8, 2010