Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Friday marked the country’s Independence Day celebrations by saying its development across the ages had been determined by “gospel values” and the “ideal of freedom”.
In his comments as the date was marked across Georgia in events, Garibashvili said “[w]e are an ancient Christian country where apostles of Jesus Christ were preaching the word of the Lord themselves. For centuries, our development has been conditioned by gospel values, among which freedom is the supreme one”.
The Government head also called Georgia a “country of heroes” and cited its historical rulers including Vakhtang Gorgasali, David the Builder, King Tamar and Erekle II, and noted their history as the reason “freedom has a special value for us”.
“For our great ancestors, freedom was a goal to be achieved through constant struggle, and not something to be taken for granted”, he said.
Even today, despite the fact that Georgia is a politically independent country, our freedom and sovereignty unfortunately have many internal and external, visible or hidden enemies. Therefore, our freedom and sovereignty need to be strengthened, which requires the greatest efforts - and this is our duty”, Garibashvili noted.
“Independence means freedom from others, and freedom - as the great Ilia Chavchavadze [Georgian publicist, author and a major figure of the country's 19th century national movement] taught us - is when our fate belongs to ourselves”, he continued.
He also said in remarks for the date freedom implied a “sovereign state implementing domestic and foreign policy only in the interests of its own people”.
[It also] implies a state where the political and social rights of each citizen are guaranteed, [where] the rule of law, eternal values and national interests [are protected], [...] an environment where the strength of each family is the main task of the government and, at the same time, it is the basis of the state's strength; freedom implies a society that aspires not only to territorial but also to value-based and substantial unity, where our past, present and future meet”, he concluded.