Speech Delivered by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Event Marking The Day of Diplomats Print Version

2018-11-09

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me greet you all with great respect and appreciation!

I cannot help mentioning our great ancestor Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani at the event marking the Georgian Diplomacy Day. His name is closely linked with the concept. Sulkhan-Saba was looking out for ways to save our homeland 300 years ago and believed that approximation with Europe was the only solution and way forward. Today, Georgia is a merited part of the European family and is solidly pursuing the integration with Europe and North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) with consistent steps and efforts.

Due to its geo-political location, our country has always been in the centre of historic events and plenty of challenges. If anything supported us in overcoming crisis and difficulties, it was this very diplomacy.

At the end of the previous century, right after regaining the independence, our country needed to be recognized anew and it was great merits to the high-calibre professionalism and dedication of our diplomats that it became possible to re-establish Georgia on the global map of politics. Today, none the less efforts are required to strengthen the independence of our state and what is most important - to return to the European family. Our craving and dedicated work is a main pre-requisite for achieving our blue dream. On behalf of the Government of Georgia (GOG), I wish to thank you enormously for this and wish you more successful performance in future.

Today, Georgia is one of the strongest allies of the European Union (EU) through successful efforts made by our diplomatic corps and authorities towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration and it is acknowledged as a leading country of Eastern Partnership, while our NATO friends tend to underline readiness of Georgia for NATO accession more than ever before.

Close cooperation with EU is evidenced by the new high-level dialogue initiated by the parties, which is unprecedented by its essence and nature. First meeting within this format will be held in Brussels in November of 2018. I am convinced that dialogue will facilitate a greater approximation of Georgia with EU, thus opening up new opportunities for our country.

We are fighting to overcome the challenges facing our country in the current turbulent environment through Georgian diplomatic service. Peaceful recovery of territorial integrity and de-occupation remains to prevail among them.

International community has once again reaffirmed its unanimous position in support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia 10 years after the wide-scale military aggression of Russia against Georgia. Strong messages have been made on the process of illicit actions taken at the occupied territories of Georgia.

Our partners and friends made harsh assessment of the recent illicit process developed in Atotsi Village of Georgia. Russian Federation is resuming the construction of artificial barriers , which has been characteristic to the occupation policy since 2008. We will stand neither new, nor old barbed wire and all the leverages will be deployed to stop the process.

As you may well be aware, violence on ethnic grounds, inhuman and abusive treatment have led to the creation of Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List, which includes the names of offenders charged and found guilty of wrongdoings. People included in the list should be kept liable at an international level and your role in ascertaining the truth is of tremendous importance. Hence, I once again wish to call upon you to make this goal as one of the main priorities of your daily work.

Active efforts of our diplomatic corps have kept the issue of occupied territories of Georgia high up in the international agenda and focus of our partners both in bilateral formats, within the international organizations, United Nations (UN), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Council of Europe.

I wish to note that we have a considerable progress in the bilateral diplomacy. I particularly wish to underline our interaction with our strategic partner - USA - in terms of defence and security, trade and economy, which are consistently strengthened and solidified. Today, dynamic bilateral cooperation with countries of Europe are strongest than ever before. These bilateral relations are advanced to a substantially higher, strategic level. It is also great merits to you all, our diplomatic corps.

Once again, please accept my sincere gratitude for all your dedication, patriotism and keen work. I wish you great success for the benefit of Georgia and let me once again assure you that we will by all means manage to achieve the historic result, which has been craved and fought by many generations. Georgia will surely become a fully-fledged member of EU and NATO.