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Rasmussen Still Evasive On Georgia's NATO Membership

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili (left) with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels on February 5.
BRUSSELS -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has stopped short of promising that Georgia will receive a membership action plan (MAP) at a NATO summit later this year.

Receiving an MAP is seen as an important first step toward acquiring eventual NATO membership.

Speaking in Brussels with visiting Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on February 5, Rasmussen said that the alliance would continue to assess the countries that aspire to become NATO members and that a final decision will be made in the run-up to the alliance's summit in September.

Rasmussen added that Georgia made substantial progress, which would be "acknowledged and reflected appropriately at the summit."

At a NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, Georgia had received vague promises of possible NATO membership at some point -- but not a MAP.

Currently, three countries have a MAP -- Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro.
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