On June 6, H. E. Mr. Otar Berdzenishvili, Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his spouse, Mrs. Maia Gogoladze

received the guests at the official reception to mark Independence Day of Georgia, at the Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia. Esteemed attendees were from the Executive and legislative branches of the Republic of Bulgaria, members of the distinguished diplomatic corps accredited in Sofia, academia, think tanks, culture, business sector, chamber of commerce, media representatives and the Georgian diaspora.

His Excellency Mr. Otar Berdzenishvili, who recently presented his credentials in our country, addressed the guests with a welcome speech:

Today, we celebrate 105 years since establishment of the first Democratic Republic as well as 32nd anniversary of the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union. Our first republic, which despite of brief existence (1918-1921), became recognized by the international community for its remarkable democratic constitution. Georgia at that time, became one of the pioneer country where women had the right to vote and stand for election. Let me quote phrase from the constitution "Citizens of Both Genders are Eligible to Vote in the Elections". In the constituent assembly five women had been elected and one of them was Muslim.

Since gaining of independence, Georgia has been target of hybrid warfare from the Russian Federation aiming to destabilise the country, keep it in the sphere of influence and hinder its democratic development and pro-western foreign policy choice. Even today, Georgia continues its fight for territorial integrity, whose 20% is occupied by Russia. Besides these challenges, in last three decades significant progress have been achieved in building our statehood based on European values. We stand firmly and committed to the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Today, then ever before, granting EU candidacy status to my country bears paramount importance, not only for Georgia, but for entire Europe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Georgia highly values relations with the Republic of Bulgaria which is our littoral neighbor and counts centuries’ old friendship. One of the remarkable example from the history pages is Bachkovo Monastery, which has been founded by the Georgian Brother’s Bakuriani in 1083. This is our common heritage, which two nations enjoys throughout the centuries. Besides this acclamation, we share common history in safeguarding our national identity, territorial integrity, sovereignty, language and religion. I am positively assured that in my tenure existing relations between our countries will be expanded and elevated in the higher level.

In conclusion, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the staff members of the Embassy and our valuable members of Georgian community for their tireless work in promoting Georgia’s interests. Please, enjoy with the world’s oldest and finest wines from Georgia.

The attendees enjoyed with Georgian wine tasting, which especially was prepared for that occasion. Also, guests were able to get acquainted with the Georgia’s touristic potential, which was presented via photo exhibition.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Bulgaria.