Swiss Ambassador Ends Tenure with Photo-Exhibition & Farewell Reception

At the end of November, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Georgia, Lukas Beglinger, is to complete both his ambassadorial assignment to Georgia and his 32-year diplomatic career.

In recognition of his time here, he and his wife Barbara held a farewell reception at the National Parliamentary Library on November 19, though the Ambassador noted it is more a “see you around” event as they plan on making Georgia a permanent home. Brightening the event, which was attended by numerous representatives of the diplomatic corps, government and cultural sector as well as businesspersons and media, was an exhibition of the similarities between Swiss and Georgian culture. The photos were published in a book by the Swiss Embassy in 2017 to celebrate 25 years of Georgia-Switzerland diplomatic relations. The photo book, entitled ‘Switzerland and Georgia – a close relationship in pictures,’ is meant to illustrate how much the two countries have in common, from the color of their flags to the strong local identity and traditions, to which both the Georgian and Swiss peoples are attached. Those similarities, carefully and cleverly captured by a professional photographer, both surprised and excited guests, many of whom were heard to say that they would like to visit Switzerland, inspired by the images on display.

“When we arrived in Georgia in September 2015, our knowledge of this unique country was rather general,” the Ambassador noted. “We knew that Georgia had experienced a long, tough and turbulent history, including in recent times, after having regained its independence. We were aware of Georgia's manifold challenges and opportunities as a country in transition, with an unresolved conflict. And we knew this would render our professional life challenging and interesting, too. From the first day of our stay, we experienced and appreciated the outstanding hospitality and friendliness of the Georgian people. And we soon became familiar with Georgia's stunning landscapes, its rich cultural life and heritage, its culinary traditions, its incomparable wine, and, of course, its equally incomparable polyphonic music which is being presented tonight by the Didgori Ensemble. Three years on, we look back on a most exciting, rewarding experience, both professionally and privately.”

During Ambassador Beglinger’s tenure, Switzerland and Georgia continued to develop their friendly, close and trusting ties, seeing numerous opportunities to cultivate and strengthen the relationship and cooperation, “from high-level bilateral visits, in matters of trade, economic and social development, science, education (especially VET) and culture; in the frame of Switzer-land’s protecting power mandate on behalf of Georgia and the Russian Federation; and in order to promote human security, peace-building and conflict-resolution in the region, with a little help here and there from Georgia’s Swiss friends who are in a position to offer neutral, credible mediation and facilitation services, in close cooperation with our international partners,” the Ambassador noted.

Before a delightful buffet and wine reception against a background of polyphony from the Didgori Ensemble, Ambassador Beglinger presented National Parliamentary Library representative Professor Emzar Jgerenaia, Head of the Department of Science and Culture, a complete edition of the ‘Historical Dictionary of Switzerland’ to be included in the Library’s collection.

“May this encyclopedia promote the knowledge and understanding of Switzerland’s history among the Georgian public and herewith contribute to further strengthening the solid foundations of our relationship!” the Ambassador said.

By Katie Ruth Davies

Photo by Goga Chanadiri

22 November 2018 17:38