PM: Georgia celebrates special Independence Day, moves closer to Europe

Prime Minister made a festive appeal at Georgia's Independence Day celebration. Photo by N. Alavidze, 26 May 2014 - 16:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s tolerance, humanism and patriotism, and our ability to sacrifice our lives for the homeland, has saved our country and this is the very force that will make sure Georgia stands on its own two feet, said Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in his festive appeal at Georgia's Independence Day celebration.

Garibashvili congratulated the Georgian population and said May 26 was the most important date in Georgia's annual calendar.

He also stressed this year’s celebration was special, as Georgia would soon sign the Association Agreement (AA), in which will help thr country move closer to Europe.

"We are all participants of historical processes that will make the cherished dream of our great ancestors and our people come true," the PM said.

"Georgia is drawing closer to Europe in leaps and bounds and this process is irreversible.”

"Today’s celebration of May 26 is special as we celebrate our country’s Independence Day with a new hope. We are about to take the most important step on our path to Europe."

The Prime Minister said in exactly one month, Georgia will sign the AA and become an associate member of the EU.

"I believe Georgia – from the cultural, historical and political points of view – will become an honourable member of the European family,” he said.

"Georgia is poised for a great future. We will build and empower democratic institutions and protect the freedom and safety of our citizens.

Garibashvili said signing the AA would be beneficial not only for Georgia but for the whole region as well.

"Georgia aspires to be the leader in the region, and I am convinced Georgia will succeed!”

Garibashvili said Georgia’s development will help rebuild the relationship with Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"Alongside political and economic benefits, the development of our country will be reflected in the lives of every Georgian citizen. I am convinced that this is the way to rebuild rapport with our Ossetian and Abkhazian brothers and sisters.

"A time will come when we will once again speak one language and live in a unified and strong Georgia, in our shared homeland.”

The Prime Minister also spoke about the upcoming municipal elections on June 15 and said the occasion was a very important step towards realizing Georgia belonged to its every citizen.

"The upcoming election provides our country with yet another opportunity to take a step toward democracy. This election enables every citizen to realize that this country belongs to him or her, and he and She has been entrusted with its care.

"I travel a lot in the regions and I havd become increasingly convinced that our people are the ones who hold the real power. Our people must be able to define the future of their own village, district, region, and country as a whole.

"This is how we, standing together as one, will protect and cherish this achievement, handed down to us at the expense of the lives of our selfless and self-sacrificing heroes. It is our duty to protect the independence of our homeland and to ensure a free, democratic, and prosperous country for generations to come,” Garibashvili said.