New recruits of the Georgian Defence Forces took their oath in 10 cities across the country to launch celebrations of Independence Day on Friday.
They pledged their allegiance in Tbilisi as well as the western regions of Adjara, Guria, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti and Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, in the eastern region of Kakheti, central regions of Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli and Shida Kartli, and the southern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti in public ceremonies.
On Tbilisi’s Freedom Square, the occasions involved addresses by officials, with President Salome Zurabishvili telling the new recruits they were declaring “unwavering loyalty and dedication” to the country.
Today you are joining the Georgian army, which is the pillar of the country's independence and sovereignty. Your standing here today is a sign that none of our struggles for freedom have gone unnoticed. Our army is an unmistakable sign of the state's endurance and resilience”, she said.
This army has shown many examples of dedication and professionalism in peacekeeping missions beyond the borders of the country. May 26 is the day when we express our gratitude to the Georgian army, and together we honour the heroes who died for the independence and territorial integrity of Georgia in all times and places”, the President added.
Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze said in his address the Government was working to “further strengthen our country”, and the Defence Forces in particular, on the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and challenges facing the security architecture of Europe.
This is the path of peace and of strengthening of our country, which - together with the reasonable and pragmatic policy of the Government of Georgia and the Prime Minister - will ensure the peace and prosperity of our country. Along this path, we have increased our efforts to strengthen our defence capabilities with a consistent policy, and this will continue in the future”, Burchuladze said.
Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili said the country “could not be perfect” without Europe, while adding “neither can Europe be perfect without Georgia”.
On this historic day, I also thank our international partners and friends, whose support and solidarity help us strengthen the sovereignty of our country. Against the backdrop of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the importance of peace is increasing more and more”, he told the ceremony in Tbilisi.
“Therefore, the role of the Georgian Defence Forces is immeasurable before our country and people. With special hope, I address the young people who took an oath today before God and our flag. I want to wish you that your service to the motherland is peaceful, but full of victories", Papuashvili said.