Georgia-UK relations in my documentary

16 Nov 2017 - 16:11

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By Sofio Katsarava

Head of Georgian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee

Agenda.ge,16 Nov 2017 - 16:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Quarter Century-Georgia-Great Britain” is a documentary by Irakli Mezurnishvili and Sofio Katsarava, head of Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, who worked for ten years at the British Embassy, Tbilisi before representing the Georgian people in the legislative body. The author shares her goals, emotions and consequences over the documentary with Agenda.ge readers.

I have been the Chair of the Georgian Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament for nearly a year now, and during this time I have had the opportunity to travel across Europe, America and Asia. 

On these travels I have met so many people committed to working with Georgia, to partnering with Georgia on our journey to improved political and economic development and greater standing in the world.  

The purpose of our partnerships with other countries is clear to me, but I wanted to do something to really show people the importance of these partnerships. So I committed myself to making a documentary about one of these relationships. 

This relationship is closest to my heart, having worked at the British Embassy in Tbilisi for over 10 years. 

I am absolutely thrilled to see the completion of this documentary that I made with colleague, Irakli Mezurnishvili. The documentary showcases the relationship between Georgia and the United Kingdom. These ties between our countries began over a century ago and have blossomed into meaningful cooperation, which has practically benefitted the economic development of Georgia and our role in the world today. 

The process of making the documentary was highly rewarding. I met almost all the ambassadors with whom I had worked in the embassy over the last twenty years, but this time, rather than as an employee, as a representative of the Georgian people.  It was so great to hear their impressions, from their experiences of living and working in Georgia, of the work they did then and their praise at how far we have come since. 

Despite the fact that they have moved to other embassies or other jobs in other regions, Georgia remains dear to every single one of them.   

I could not have made this documentary without the support of the current British Ambassador to Georgia, Justin McKenzie Smith, or without the support of the British Embassy as a whole. In making this documentary I learned more about how Britain and the British people have always stood with Georgia and the Georgian people – how they continue to do so and how they believe in our country, its people and the future of Georgia!  

Former  Ambassador Donald MacLaren with Sofio Katsarava. 

This was a powerful journey for me in many ways; first to look back at a time when Georgia was 25 years ago and how important it was to us when countries like Britain recognised our strategic importance and aspirations.  Even 25 years ago, when the embassy first opened in Tbilisi, I was part of that journey.  I remember watching the first steps of this relationship and had the opportunity while working at the embassy to watch these new relations develop into the strategic ties that exist today. 

But despite having a front seat to these relations as they developed over the last 25 years, it was still enlightening to me to make this documentary as a representative of Georgia.  What was amazing about this journey, was the genuine interest and willingness of all the ambassadors and all our British friends, to support the film and to show that Britain indeed is a true friend of Georgia!  

Katsarava meeting with Justin McKenzie Smith, current UK ambassador to Georgia. 

Now, watching the documentary, makes me not only so proud to have made something to help people understand the importance of this relationship and the 25th anniversary of Georgia and Britain’s diplomatic ties, but also because I was at the heart of this work over the last quarter century which continues to move Georgia forward and to develop these important ties with more countries.  I hope this documentary will serve as a demonstration of what that can achieve and what it means.

 Once again, I’d like to thank everyone who made this documentary possible, whose contributions were so important to me. This would not have been possible without our British friends' genuine faith and trust in our country!

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