PM Garibashvili commemorates Azerbaijani “New Year”

Irakli Garibahsvili began his congratulatory speech in the Azerbaijani language; Photo by PM's press office., 21 Mar 2014 - 12:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister has congratulated Georgian Azerbaijanis on their national holiday, Novruz, and promised wellbeing for each Azerbaijani family in Georgia.

Novruz is a four-day Azerbaijani New Year celebration, which began yesterday.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili began his congratulatory speech in the Azerbaijani language as he visited Marneuli, a small city in the Kvemo Kartli region of southern Georgia which is predominantly populated by a Georgian Azerbaijani community.

The PM spoke about the historic friendship between the two nations and expressed his hope for their special relationship to last forever.

Garibahsvili praised Georgian Azerbaijanis’ for their hardworking nature and said they provided the whole country with agricultural products.

"I will do my best to adequately appreciate all your work. I will do my best to make your families feel welfare that soon will be created in our homeland. We want your children to have an opportunity to gain an education,” Garibahsvili said, adding he was glad the town’s youth were eager to learn the Georgian language.

He called on locals to get involved in state language teaching programs, as it was crucial for gaining higher education and participating in building the country.

"I welcome that you maintain your ties to your historic homeland. Azerbaijan is Georgia’s faithful friend and strategic partner. I know for you, Georgia and Azerbaijan are equally precious,” Garibashvili said to the locals.

Azerbaijanis are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Georgia. Latest statistics reveal there are about 284 000 Azerbaijani people living in Georgia.

Novruz is a New Year celebration that symbolises the coming of spring and rejuvenation. Traditionally, in Marneuli and other locations populated by both nations, Georgians and Azerbaijanis celebrate the holiday together.