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January 28, 2014 10:41 am

Israeli President, Georgian Prime Minister Celebrate ‘2,600 Years of Friendship’

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres, on January 28, 2014. Photo: Mark Neiman / GPO.

Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres, on January 28, 2014. Photo: Mark Neiman / GPO.

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday met with the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, who is on an official visit to Israel to increase economic cooperation  between the two countries. In a joint statement, the two leaders referred to a bilateral relationship that began 2,600 years ago.

Prime Minister Garibashvili said, “Israel is a friend, and Georgia attaches great importance to the relationship between the two countries. We know that the bond between the Georgian and Jewish people goes back 2,600 years, when the Jewish people first came to Georgia after the destruction of the First Temple. Since then Jewish people became like family, they were accepted, loved and respected and became part of Georgian society throughout history.”

Garibashvili said, “Israel is a very important country for Georgia. I came here to confirm once again that Israel is a friend and partner. We’d like to strengthen our bilateral cooperation. Georgia is a small country and is a contributor to global peace and a small contributor but wherever we go, we are contributing and we are dedicated.”

Peres said, “I’m delighted to see you here, the Prime Minister of Georgia, which is a very dear country to us. We are now celebrating 2,600 years of friendship. It was great to see Georgia coming back to herself, at her best full of hope and contribution.”

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Addressing the current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, President Peres said, “Peace is both our heritage and our strategy. We know it’s not simple but we will continue to make major efforts to reach the right conclusion and bring peace to this part of the region. We must not let history gallop past and lose this opportunity.”

“There are many in the Arab worlds who already know that we are not the problem, the real problems are terror and division and that has nothing to do with us. Terror is today the greatest problem for many countries in the Middle East,” Peres said.

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