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NATO Chief Says Alliance Committed To Georgia Membership

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) meets with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Tbilisi
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on a visit to Tbilisi on September 30, said the alliance remains committed to eventually granting Georgia membership and praised the country for contributing forces in Afghanistan.

He was speaking at an opening ceremony for a new NATO liaison office in the Georgian capital. NATO leaders agreed in at a 2008 summit that Georgia and Ukraine would eventually become members of the alliance, but -- under pressure from European leaders wary of alienating Russia -- denied the two countries pre-membership status.

Georgia's NATO aspirations have infuriated Russia, which fought a brief war with Georgia in August 2008 over the Moscow-backed separatist region of South Ossetia.