German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday reversed course and said Georgia would join NATO:
"Georgia will become a member of NATO if it wants to -- and it does want to," she told reporters before talks with Saakashvili in Tbilisi.Merkel is a day late and at least a dollar short. The United States strongly supports Georgia joining NATO, but misgivings from France and Germany have prevented Georgia being awarded full candidate status.
It was one of the strongest statements yet of support for Georgia's NATO membership bid, which is fiercely opposed by Russia.
"We are on a clear road towards NATO membership (for Georgia)," she added at a later news conference.