In their New Year messages President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili have both emphasized that 2018 marks the centennial anniversary of the restoration of Georgia’s independence, and reached out to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region residents.
Addressing the nation from the National Youth Palace (former seat of the Russian Empire’s governor generals for Caucasus) in Tbilisi, where the country’s national council declared its short-lived independence on May 26, 1918, President Margvelashvili said: “These 100 years have been dramatic for our country, but today we are independent again and are pursuing our supreme goal – to establish a free Georgia.”
“Forming an integral Georgia together with the Abkhaz and the [South] Ossetians is a supreme goal [as well],” Margvelashvili also noted.
The President then stressed the importance of establishing an efficient education system, encouraging the entrepreneurs and supporting the “country’s defenders.” He also noted that it was “of key importance” to “accept each other’s differences and to recognize that our individualism is our wealth,” and pledged to support “every pursuit that will be inspired by freedom.”
On New Year’s eve, President Giorgi Margvelashvili, together with his administration members, visited Khurvaleti, a village adjacent to Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, which has been split in two by the Russian barbed wire and thus became a symbol of Russia’s encroachment on the Georgian territory.
“I would like to congratulate you from a place that hurts us most, where the Russian occupants drew a barbed wire and temporarily cut the country [in pieces],” Margvelashvili told the press after his brief conversation with Davit Vanishvili, a local resident whose house was cut off from the village. “Every time I come hear, I become full of hope that these barbed wires will be dismantled and this will happen through peace and unity of us and all citizens of Georgia,” the President added.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who addressed the nation from the ski resort of Bakuriani, reached out to the Abkhaz and the [South] Ossetian “compatriots” as well, saying he “truly” believed “we will manage to restore trust and build a common future for ourselves and our children.”
The Prime Minister also congratulated Georgian soldiers serving in the international missions, “who are defending peace far from home,” and the Georgian diaspora. “We must spare no effort to put in place all necessary conditions for those missing their homeland and wishing to return home,” he said.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili also emphasized that 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the declaration of Georgia’s independence, saying it represented both “an important historical milestone and a year of new opportunities.”
“My wish for you is to live in a country where all your ideas can become a reality, where we cherish the existing and shape our future ourselves, where we pursue what we enjoy, and are able to use our knowledge and experience in serving our beloved country, our homeland. And this is the very Georgia that we are building,” the Prime Minister noted.