Biden Says NATO Move Up to Tbilisi

MUNICH, Germany -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday that it was up to Georgia to decide whether it would become a member of NATO.

Asked after meeting Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili if he was in favor of the U.S. ally joining NATO, he said: "I'm in favor of Georgia's continued independence and autonomy. That is a decision for Georgia to make."

The previous U.S. administration of President George W. Bush pressed last year for Georgia to be admitted to the alliance but ran into opposition from Germany and France. Biden's comments, on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference, appeared to suggest President Barack Obama's administration might be less aggressive in its backing for Georgia's NATO bid.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the conference that Georgia would join NATO some day, but set no time.