BRUSSELS, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- The government of Georgia passed an important test with October parliamentary elections, the NATO secretary-general said after meeting Georgian ministers.
In late October, lawmakers in Georgia, a former Soviet republic, approved Cabinet selections made by Bidzina Ivanishvili. His Georgian Dream coalition beat the United National Movement of President Mikheil Saakashvili in Oct. 1 parliamentary elections.
Saakashvili, criticized for his decision to go to war with Russia in 2008, was accused of monopolizing power.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met in Brussels with Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and State Minister for European Integration Alex Petriashvili, the first such meeting since October elections.
In a readout of the meeting provided by NATO, Rasmussen "said that Georgia had passed an important test, and next year's presidential elections will constitute another important test."
Most of the presidential powers in Tbilisi transfer to a new prime minister once constitutional reforms take effect in 2013.
NATO said Tbilisi was recognized for its contribution to the international military effort in Afghanistan and for its work on Euro-Atlantic integration.