National Day Message by H. E. Mrs. Tamara Liluashvili, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria

On May 26th Georgia celebrated its Independence Day. May 26 of 1918 marks the day when the first democratic republic of Georgia was born from the ruins of Russian Empire. Independence Day was thus lost for 70 years until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991when Georgia managed to restore its independence and its democratic Republic.

Today, Georgia has established a strong record of reforming its economy and raising the living standards of its citizens. Growth has been robust and resilient, entrepreneurship is vibrant, and living conditions have been steadily improving. The country has a shared consensus on national priorities, including NATO membership, participation in Euro-Atlantic integration and to build a better functioning welfare state. Georgia has demonstrated the strongest political will to reform its society according to European values and principles. On this path, we have concrete achievements, which are EU – Georgia Association Agreement, free trade agreement and visa-free regime to the Schengen area. Georgia continues to actively participate in strengthening of the global security, taking part in European Union's and NATO peacekeeping missions.

Georgia and Bulgaria count near 28 years of Diplomatic relations. Relations between the two countries are exemplary with future dynamic vision. Bulgaria has been a great supporter of Georgia on its path to European Integration and recognizing it sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Today, Georgia aspires to play a leadership role and become a regional hub for logistics, energy, trade, innovation, and tourism in the Silk Road Corridor through better connectivity and infrastructure, including digital infrastructure. Relations between our countries plays a significant role in achieving the above mentioned.

Past year, since our last celebration of the Independence Day of Georgia, has been very active for the Embassy, full of activities, results, progress and interesting projects. We have had several high level exchange of visits between our countries. This year, as we were in the midst of preparation of the official visit of the President of Georgia H. E. Ms. Salome Zurabishvili, the visit was postponeddue to current world circumstances. Last summer, our Embassy, in cooperation with the National Tourism Administration of Georgia has organized several info trips for members of Bulgarian press and prominent members of local community, as a result of which we had interesting programs on the Bulgarian National Television. In 2019, the visit of H. E. Mr. Biser Petkov, the Minister of Labor and Social Politics of the Republic of Bulgaria to Georgia took place. Bilateral agreement on Legal Migration was signed, which will give the citizens of both countries opportunities to explore employment opportunities across the Black Sea. H. E. Mr. Rossen Zheliazkov, Minister of Transport, Informational Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria conducted his visit to Georgia last year. During the visit Minister met with the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and discussed future plans of Transportation between the two countries.

We have strengthened ties in the field of education and culture. Soon, we will sign the memorandum between the Ministries of Education and Culture of Georgia and Bulgaria.

Economic activities have grown between the two countries. Bulgaria is steadily among Georgia’s top 10 trade partners, however there are still opportunities for more expansion and economic cooperation.

We have made a significant progress in promoting Georgia as a tourism destination for Bulgarians. Important talks and preparations have taken place for establishment of direct flights between the capitals of our countries.

Today, the world is rediscovering Georgia as a country of vibrant democracy, old history, but modern and competitive outlook. Today, Georgia is a European Democracy located at a historically vital crossroads connecting East and West, the Caspian and Black seas. Today, a small nation located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe has become a role model for the steps taken in the fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. Correct and efficient crisis management has proved to be successful.

Georgia is a place where you can find something new, diverse, somewhat familiar but still unknown. Georgia will open its borders to International visitors from July 1st.

The photo was provided by the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Bulgaria.