Georgian Leaders Address Nation on Independence Day

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, Parliament Speaker Archil Takakvadze and Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili addressed the nation at the Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi, as the country marks 102th anniversary, since Georgia proclaimed itself an independent Democratic Republic on May 26, 1918.

At the military base, President Zurabishvili said that “we should always remember that our defense forces, and united and strong society – are the guarantors for Georgia’s independence.”

The Georgian President reaffirmed that the European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and strategic partnership with the U.S. remain among the priorities for Georgia.

Speaking of the situation in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Zurabishvili called for “more solidarity” and “political consolidation” to counter economic and social challenges caused by the pandemic. “Confrontation and polarization pose the greatest threat that will hinder mobilization of energy [for the common cause],” noted the Georgian President. 

“Those, who mistrust doctors, question the necessity of [restrictive] measures and cause unrest for artificial reasons, are fighting against the success of the country and, therefore, against its survival,” Zurabishvili added.

Speaking of importance of the Independence Day, Prime Minister Gakharia said “the First Republic [1918-1921] has defined the forthcoming orientation of our country.”

The Prime Minister noted that fight for the independence and unity of Georgia is not yet over, however, he stressed that these goals should be achieved in a peaceful manner.

He then congratulated “each Georgian, each citizen of Georgia, our expatriates living overseas, our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers with the Independence Day,” expressing his strong belief that “we will [together] succeed in building our country, in shaping a prosperous state.”

Hailing the contribution of the Georgian troops for their participation in international peacekeeping missions in ensuring the global security, Gakharia said “our unity” and “success of our army” guarantees Georgia’s  security, its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and its effective cooperation with the strategic partners – the U.S, the EU and NATO.

On his part, Speaker Talakvadze said he is proud that the modern generation of Georgians is making its contribution in strengthening the independence and unity of the country.

He stated that the constitutional reform and the strengthening of parliamentary democracy, sustainable economic development, progress in defense and security spheres, and steps towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration show how Georgians continue the path chosen by their ancestors.

Defense Minister Garibashvili has also congratulated the citizens with the National Day, and, among others, praised the Georgian servicemen for protecting the country in the struggle against “the visible or invisible enemies.”

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