STATEMENT MADE BY IRAKLI GARIBASHVILI, PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA Print Version

2021-02-23

My dear compatriots,

We all have a homeland in common; we are the children of one country.

Georgia is facing challenges of the utmost importance today. The pandemic has further complicated the already difficult economic and social situation of our country and our people. We are also facing significant geopolitical challenges, as well as foreign policy goals.

We must all unite around these goals and challenges, regardless of our political beliefs and views.

One hundred years after the loss of the independence of the First Republic of Georgia and the Sovietization of Georgia, we must once again remember that the state and its independence are the greatest achievements for every one of us. Our statehood is also a necessary condition for Georgia's Western integration. Therefore, protecting the state and its laws is a duty and a responsibility shared by each and every one of us.

Yesterday, I presented the future vision of the government in the Parliament of Georgia. However, against the backdrop of a deliberate, insulting campaign against law enforcement officials - the hero police officers - I mainly had to talk about the destructive actions of the opposition, in addition to our common goals and challenges.

Today, the Ministry of Internal Affairs enforced a law, which was a necessary condition for the reduction of radicalism in politics and the establishment of fair relations.

The people's reaction to the enforcement of the law has confirmed that the rule of law is the main priority for the Georgian public. However, we are not counting the number of people gathered for the demonstration. Every citizen of our country is precious to us.

Today, now that the law has been enforced and the state has taken its due place, I would like to call on all political forces who hold the country dear to open a real and earnest dialogue and to talk not about what divides us, but about what must unite us.

Against the backdrop of the challenges facing the country, it is time for dialogue, not confrontation. I propose that all reasonable opposition forces enter Parliament, so that we may use the country's legislature as the main platform for discussion. As I mentioned yesterday, we are ready for real dialogue at any time and in any format.

Together, we must ensure the consolidation of our statehood and independence, the further strengthening of the democratic system, the overcoming of social and economic problems, and Georgia's integration into the European Union and NATO.

Our country has no time to lose.

Today is not the time for division - it is the time for unification.

May God be our protector!