On May 21st, H. E. Mrs. Tamuna Liluashvili, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria,

gave a reception on the occasion of the Independence Day at restaurant "Seasons" of the Hilton Sofia Hotel. It was attended by the Vice-President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Iliana Yotova, ambassadors, representatives of the Bulgarian ministries, the Parliamentary Friendship Group Bulgaria - Georgia, the Presidential Administration, the Chamber of Commerce, the business and the media, as well as the Georgian Diaspora in Bulgaria.

After hearing the hymns of the two countries, Her Excellency turned to the guests in her welcome speech:

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to celebrate together the Independence Day of Georgia. May 26, 1918 marks the day when the first democratic republic of Georgia was born from the ruins of the Russian Empire. Regrettably the first Georgian Republic and its promising prospects lasted only 3 years. In 1921 this freedom was taken by the Soviet army invasion and only in 1991 Georgia managed to restore its independence and its democratic Republic.

Today, the world is rediscovering Georgia as a country of vibrant democracy, old history, but modern and competitive outlook. Today, Georgia is a European democracy located at a historically vital crossroads connecting East and West, the Caspian and Black seas. Due to its strategic location it is a natural hub on the silk road to bridge countries and regions.

Today, Georgia’s ultimate goal remains to create democratically developed, progressive society and become full member of the Euro-Atlantic institutions. Georgia has demonstrated the strongest political will to reform its society according to European values and principles. On this path, we have concrete achievements, which are EU – Georgia Association Agreement, free trade agreement and visa-free regime to the Schengen area. Georgia continues to actively participate in strengthening of the global security, taking part in European Union's and NATO peacekeeping missions. We do not stop at what we have already achieved, we continue further with our efforts with one aim - to become a member of Euro-Atlantic institutions in the near future. Bulgaria has been a great supporter of Georgia on its path to European Integration and NATO membership. It has vividly supported sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

Ladies and gentlemen let me mention that,

Georgia and Bulgaria count near 27 years of Diplomatic relations. The relations between the two countries are exemplary and aspire to further deepen the cooperation in every field of mutual interest of the two countries. Just recent visits of the Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Joint intergovernmental economic commission are the beginnings of the new era in Georgia- Bulgarian Relations.   It is important to mention the historical bonds between our countries. The Bachkovo Monastery, founded in 11th century by the Georgian brothers Bakuriani, is one of the largest and oldest Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Europe and is the symbol of the cultural unity of Georgia and Bulgaria.

During the last years the economic cooperation between both countries has improved, the inter-regional contacts have developed. Over the recent years Bulgaria is steadily among Georgia’s top 10 trade partners. However, there are still opportunities for expansion of economic cooperation and I hope to successfully lead this effort. 

With all said, today we offer you some taste of Georgia, modern Georgia with incredible food, wine, and music…

H. E. Mrs. Tamuna Liluashvili thanked for the support of the Honorary Consul of the country in Bulgaria Mr. Dinko Dinev - "a friend and supporter of Georgia for more than 12 years", and the newly appointed Honorary Consul Mr. Julius Nushev. She also thanked the Georgian Diaspora and all friends in Bulgaria for coming to the reception on the occasion of the national holiday.

On behalf of the Bulgarian side, Mrs. Iliana Yotova, Vice-President of the Republic, greeted the participants, highlighting the importance of the partnership between Bulgaria and Georgia.

Then all guests enjoyed the wonderful Georgian dishes, wines and mineral water. The Georgian music, performed by Maia Baratashvili and George Mel (Giorgi Melikiškili), helped for the pleasant mood of the evening.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Bulgaria.