Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 16th, 2008 11:04 EST
Road to NATO 'Wide Open' says NATO Chief.

Road to NATO 'Wide Open' says NATO Chief.

By SOP newswire

NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says the road to joining the alliance is "wide open" for Georgia - despite Russian opposition.

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop SchefferHe made the comment Tuesday during his visit to Tbilisi. He said the alliance will continue to expand.

De Hoop Scheffer arrived in the Georgian capital Monday with the ambassadors of the 26 NATO countries.

He called on Russia Monday to comply with a European-brokered peace plan for Georgia and accused Russia of using "indiscriminate force" during last month`s incursion into Georgia.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Monday the NATO delegation`s visit shows Georgia does not stand alone.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev last week pledged to pull all Russian forces out of Georgia - except for the disputed pro-Russian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia - by mid-October.

NATO officials and ambassadors are in Tbilisi for the inaugural meeting of the NATO-Georgia Cooperation Commission.

Russia strongly opposes NATO expansion toward its borders, and urged NATO to cancel the visit, which was planned before Russian-Georgian military hostilities erupted August 7. 

Russia sent thousands of troops into the breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia last month after Georgia tried to reclaim the region by force.  

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

www.voanews.com