Obama, Kerry send Independence Day wishes to Georgia:
“Georgia is a leading example of democratic progress”

Signing an Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU) was Georgia’s top achievement of the past three years. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Agenda.ge, 25 May 2016 - 14:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

President of the United States (US) Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are sharing the joy of the Georgian people as the nation celebrates its 25th Independence Day on May 26.

Kerry released a special statement on behalf of President Obama and the American people that congratulated the citizens of Georgia.

The US Secretary of State said May 26 marked a quarter century of friendship and strategic partnership between the US and Georgia.

"We see Georgia as a leading example of democratic progress in the region – an accomplishment all the more notable given the ongoing occupation of 20 percent of your territory,” Kerry said.

He added the US unequivocally supported Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders as well as its aspirations to integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

"We deeply appreciate Georgia's partnership and sacrifice in Afghanistan in support of a better future for the people of that nation and region,” he said.
"I congratulate the Georgian people on this proud day and look forward to deepening our partnership with a secure, democratic, and independent Georgia in the years to come.”

Georgia declared its independence from the Russian Empire on May 26, 1918. The independent Democratic Republic of Georgia existed for three years before the country lost its independence, this time to Soviet Russia.

Exactly 70 years after this, on April 9, 1991 Georgia regained its independence from the Soviet Union and declared itself an independent state.

May 26 is a symbol of the nation’s independence so Georgia celebrates Independence Day on this day every year. The official count starts from 1991, meaning this year is Georgia’s 25th year of independence.