President of Israel Visits Georgia
TBILISI - The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, is paying a two-day visit to Georgia. He was welcomed by Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili at the Presidential Palace on Monday morning.
After the welcoming ceremony, the presidents held a face-to-face meeting and discussed the long history of friendly relations between Georgia and Israel. Future cooperation on economic, defense and security measures was also discussed.
President Margvelashvili condemned terrorism and underlined Georgia’s role in fighting this global challenge.
He said that despite the fact that 20 percent of Georgia’s territories are occupied by Russia, Georgia is still one of the largest contributors to the world peace and security.
Georgia’s president thanked his Israeli counterpart for supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for the firm partnership between the two nations. He also took the chance to advertise Georgia’s supposedly corruption-free business environment and strategic geographical location. Georgia would like to see foreign investment in the country increase, and Margvelashvili explicitly called on the Israeli companies to invest in Georgia in various growth sectors, such as renewable energy, agriculture, tourism and industry.
The meeting was attended by the head of the presidential administration, Giorgi Abashishvili, as well as by Secretary of the National Security Council David Rakviashvili.
President Rivlin will also meet Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Parliament speaker Irakli Kobakhidze.
Georgia and Israel are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations this year. The friendly relations between the Kartvelian and Hebrew people go much further back, though, with as much as a 2,600-year history of Jewish presence in Georgia.
By Thea Morrison