24 Apr 2015 - 17:12
The bilateral relationship enjoyed by Georgia and Belarus is about to enter a new, stronger phase thanks to the idea for two cities to become twin towns.
Georgia’s coastal city Batumi has formed a close bond with the historical Belarusian city Brest, which is located at the border with Poland.
An agreement to recognise Batumi and Brest as twin cities, which emphasized bilateral collaboration in tourism and cultural sectors, was signed today in Batumi.
The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko attended the twinning ceremony together with local government representatives and honorable guests from Belarus.
Batumi’s Mayor Giorgi Ermakov said the twinning ceremony had specifically been held during Lukashenko’s two-day visit to Georgia.
"With the support of Georgia’s Foreign Ministry we have negotiated with Brest’s officials in order to establish closer ties,” Ermakov said.
"Batumi’s and Brest’s friendship would help us to develop a closer relationship in the tourism and cultural sectors. We want to make Batumi a more attractive destination for Belarusian people,” he conceded.
The Belarusian delegation is on its final day of its Georgia visit. This was the first official visit of Lukashenko to Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, and the first time a Belarusian delegation had visited Batumi.
Twin towns or sister cities are a form of legal and social agreement between towns, cities, oblasts, provinces, regions, states, and even countries in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.
The modern concept of town twinning was established after World War II and was intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation and to encourage trade and tourism.