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Saakashvili Says Chicago Summit To Note Tbilisi's NATO Progress

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

President Mikhail Saakashvili says he expects the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago to note the progress Georgia has made toward membership.

Starting a U.S. tour, Saakashvili told Georgian journalists after his arrival in New York on May 16 that, although the Chicago summit is not about NATO enlargement, "there is every reason to believe that the forum will note the progress achieved by Georgia in recent years in approaching the alliance's standards" on democracy, human rights and military readiness.

Saakashvili has been invited to the NATO summit that is taking place in Chicago on May 21-22.

The summit is expected to focus on Afghanistan, where Georgia has some 800 soldiers serving alongside NATO forces.

Georgia's neighbor Russia says it opposes the further enlargement of NATO to Georgia or other former Soviet states.

Based on reporting by Gruziya Online and ITAR-TASS