President announces 2018 as Year of Freedom

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (L) hosts local and international guests with President Giorgi Margvelashvili (R) and his wife Maka Chichua at the Presidential Palace. Photo by PM’s press office, 19 Dec 2017 - 23:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili hosted diplomatic corps and representatives of international organisations at the joint New Year reception today.

Announcing 2018 as the Year of Freedom, President Margvelashvili brought a brief introduction to how Georgia developed through the 100 years since the country gained independence from Russia in 1918 before it again fell under occupation by Soviet forces three years later.

President Margvelashvili sums up 2017, sets goals for 2018. Photo by President's press office

Margvelashvili said when Georgia eventually restored independence on May 26, 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it set freedom, European values and EU aspirations as its main priorities that are relevant to the Georgian culture.

It’s natural that today we, Georgia’s political leaders, are clearly stating that we choose EU and NATO”, president Margvelashvili said.

He said the path from independence to freedom, which is essential for every state, can be achieved through more united, inclusive, homogeneous and future-oriented society.

Wishing the guests a happy New Year, Prime Minister Kvirikashvili thanked everyone for the fruitful cooperation in 2017.

This year we have celebrated the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties with a lot of our partner countries and I want to once again thank you for this very fruitful 25-year-cooperation”, Kvirikashvili said.

He further noted that next year Georgia celebrates yet another important date – the 100th anniversary of establishing the first Democratic Republic of Georgia.

Prime Minister Kvirikashvili welcomes guests at today's New Year reception. Photo by PM's press office

Stressing how successful 2017 has been in terms of bringing Georgia closer to European family through visa liberalisation, Kvirikashvili said this has been a strong political step from European Union (EU) highlighting that it welcomes Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.