President Reuven Rivlin emphasized the “deep connections” between the people of Israel and Georgia in his meeting Tuesday morning (July 25) with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Jerusalem.
The two men met for a working session at the Presidential Residence in the capital. Kvirikashvili, who has been to the Jewish State before, was visiting Israel for the first time as prime minister of Georgia.
In opening remarks to reporters, President Rivlin spoke of his warm memories of visiting Georgia just seven months ago in welcoming Kvirikashvili to Israel.
“The relationship between our two nations goes back thousands of years; the history between the Jewish people and the Georgian people goes back 2,600 years,” Rivlin said. “We have a large community of Georgians here in Israel, as you have a wonderful Jewish community in Georgia.”
The president noted the high levels of tourism between the two countries, and the strengthening relations between the two states. “Our deep connections in agriculture and homeland security are so very important for both of us and for the entire free world, and we are doing much together.
“We are looking forward to extending our relationship. Your visit along with the Foreign Affairs Minister is very important for both peoples and it shows willingness and desire. It is … a matter of real friendship between both peoples, and we welcome you from the bottom of our hearts, and with a lot of respect for your people and the connection between our peoples.”
Prime Minister Kvirikashvili expressed his “delight” at being in Israel, this “remarkable country, where we have very special connections as you just mentioned over 2,600 years of very special friendship, and we can find the most positive sentiments among Georgian people toward Israel,” he said.
“We are so glad to see more than 150,000 visitors are year, and this is growing month by month. We have a number of areas that are very fruitful cooperation as well.” We warmly recall your visit just months ago to our country, where we had an opportunity to discuss expanding our cooperation.”
The prime minister added that later this year Georgia will host an intergovernmental commission to “discuss the opportunities to deepen our cooperation… there are a number of areas including agriculture, education, high-tech cooperation, and security corporation.
“The challenges we face are quite similar and we need to learn from your experience. Georgia is a reliable partner of Israel in this very challenging neighborhood,” he said.