Georgian Leader Looking For NATO Boost

WHITE HOUSE (AP) — President Bush will meet Wednesday with the Republic of Georgia’s leader, who is looking to boost his country’s aspirations for NATO membership.

Bush is a strong advocate of adding Georgia to NATO, but he may not be able to offer much more than encouragement to President Mikhail Saakashvili during talks at the White House.

Georgia would have to win unanimous support at a NATO summit next month in order to get on the road to eventual membership. Some Western leaders have misgivings about Georgia joining NATO.

Russia, which isn’t a NATO member, opposes the prospect of former Soviet republics Georgia and Ukraine joining the organization.

Georgia also hurt its chances with a brutal police crackdown last November against an opposition rally.