France Celebrates Bastille Day – Eternal Values of Liberty, Equality & Fraternity

On July 11, the French Embassy to Tbilisi hosted the celebration of Bastille Day on the territory of the former embassy on Sobchak Street.

The main host, Pascal Meunier, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic, opened the event: “The world we are living in has become even more changing and unstable. Beyond the long-lasting crises in Syria, Ukraine and South Caucasus, putting regional stability and international security under threat, as well as hampering the economic and social development of the peoples of the region, new crises are emerging or re-actualizing here and there in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia,” he said, going on to cite Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, “Pessimism of mind pushes us to optimism of determination. This is the determination that restores our trust in the future, which we should seek in our values – liberty, equality and fraternity. These fundamental concepts of our democracy represent the best asset against disarray, despair and passiveness.”

The Ambassador then defined the three concepts: “Freedom implies freedom of expression and political pluralism, as well as freedom to travel and the right to security. Equality means being equal in justice, education and social development. Fraternity implies ensuring the division of wealth equally, helping the extremely poor as well as those victims of violence, so combatting egoism and pressure.”

In the Ambassador’s words, this is the mandate that the French people gave to President Emmanuel Macron. “And this is the same mandate which the Georgians conferred to Prime Minister Kvirikashvili last autumn. This is a mandate complying with European values, aligned with European aspirations that we follow and support,” he said, going on to reaffirmed France’s support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The European exchange programs, in which France is one of the major contributors, were mentioned, which focus on helping Georgia in the development of its political, economic, culture and social spheres with there being around 30 bilateral university-to-university agreements.

“The importance of the Bastille Day and the French revolution cannot be overstated,” said PM Giorgi Kvirikasvili. “The revolution restored the world’s faith in democratic ideas: liberty, equality and fraternity. This day gave meaning to the values we now cherish, values that brought us together and values that defined our very existence. Since, many countries, including Georgia, have had to face their own ‘bastille’. France’s history shows us that when we face these moments, we must fight with those same values which united the French nation on July 14, 1789”.

The PM went on to discuss bilateral relations. “The fundamental values we share – democracy, human rights, freedom and the rule of law – have strengthened our enduring friendship. It was France that sheltered the founding fathers of the first Georgian Republic from where they still fought for the independence of Georgia. Later, they were laid to rest there.” He noted that the French have always stood beside those fighting for their freedom of choice, paying a high price for their own liberty. “On behalf of all Georgians, I would like to extend our gratitude for France’s strong support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and for its invaluable contribution to Georgia’s development. The support of France and all of our friends is even more valuable as we face challenges brought by the borderization process. Only through consolidation of the efforts of the international community and civilized world will we be able to resolve this problem.”

The PM also mentioned the 25th anniversary of reestablishing diplomatic relations between France and Georgia. “Our partnership is growing stronger in all dimensions of cooperation, covering political, economic, cultural and military fields. Georgia and France are also stepping up cooperation in the agricultural sector, including in the wine industry- a wonderful heritage that we are glad to have in common. Georgians discovered winemaking millennia ago, but the French uncovered the subtle qualities of wine. When we talk about our bilateral ties, first and foremost, we think of our shared future. For this reason, I hope for more French businesses to invest and more French tourists to visit”.

PM Kvirikashvili also thanked the French Institute for strengthening Francophony in Georgia and closed by thanking France for its support to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic goals and the visa-liberalization process.

The event was musically adorned by a live performance on accordion, lending it an exquisitely romantic French atmosphere to the proceedings.

Maka Lomadze

13 July 2017 17:25
נערות ליווי