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Stoltenberg: Georgia Moving Closer To NATO

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says Georgia is moving closer to the military alliance by making reforms and major contributions to "our shared security."

Stoltenberg made his comments after a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission in Tbilisi on February 11.

He said the alliance is committed to helping Georgia move toward NATO membership.

Georgia was designated by NATO as an "aspirant country" in 2011, three years after the alliance pledged to eventually grant the country membership.

Stoltenberg said NATO will open a Joint Training Center in Tbilisi in May.

He said NATO members at the commission meeting "praised Georgia's efforts to strengthen its democratic institutions," but added that it still needed to improve its rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

Stoltenberg also called on Russia to reverse its recognition of the disputed Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.

He also called on Azerbaijan and Armenia, which he called NATO partners, to show restraint and "avoid any escalation of the situation" over the disputed Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is controlled by ethnic Armenians.

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