Georgian PM celebrates country's Muslim community on Iftar observance

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday hosted an event dedicated to Iftar. Photo: Government press office, 20 Apr 2023 - 12:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday celebrated the country’s Muslim community on the occasion of Iftar, an observance for the month-long fasting of Ramadan by followers of the religion, by saying it was “another proof of our unity, brotherhood and friendship”. 

In an occasion hosted by the PM at Tbilisi’s hilltop Funicular Restaurant, the head of the Government congratulated the community on the holy month of Ramadan and described Georgia as a “centre of tolerance” with a heritage of seeing different religious confessions coexisting peacefully over the centuries. 

We have special respect for each other's faith, tradition, and culture. It is a treasure that we, all of us, are proud of. This is the heritage of our ancestors and every government is obliged to preserve, strengthen and pass on this heritage to subsequent generations”, Garibashvili said. 

Along with the Muslim community, the event has been attended by representatives of the executive and legislative branches and the diplomatic corps. Video: Governmnet press office. 

The PM also emphasised Georgia was “unique” for the unity displayed within the country’s Muslim community itself, with Sunnis and Shiites, as well as Muslims  among ethnic Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Kists and Ingush “coexisting peacefully on this land”. 

I do not want to leave anyone out, but this is one entire Muslim community - a big family that strengthens our common, big family, Georgia”, the PM stressed, adding his Government “greatly appreciates” the community's “hard work and devotion” for the development and further strengthening of the country. 

Pointing to his Government’s efforts to ensure necessary support for the country’s religious minorities and resolve issues related to them, the PM stressed 228 mosques had been handed over to the Muslim community across the country since the establishment of the State Agency For Religious Issues on his initiative in 2014, with plans for about 70 more to be handed over. 

We will complete this process step by step, very soon”, the PM said and noted a centre for the Muslim community had been set up in the country’s western region of Adjara during his first stint as PM between 2013-2015.

He pointed out the country’s authorities had also transferred land in capital Tbilisi to the Agency.