Ambassador’s Welcome Speech
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a true honour to serve Georgia as an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
While assuming this important mission, my first thoughts were about the great potential and extremely high international prestige this country possesses. In terms of political-economic, socio-cultural, educational and technological development, the Netherlands is one of the leading countries based on liberal and inclusive approaches of the Dutch society.
Since the restoration of Georgia's independence, the development of friendly relations between our nations has had a very positive dynamic, based on European values, democracy and market economy principles. The Netherlands is a strong supporter of Georgia's territorial integrity and the EU's non-recognition policy towards Russian-occupied Georgian regions. The Netherlands also contributes to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM).
Euro-Atlantic integration is a top priority of the Georgian foreign policy. As a founding NATO and EU Member State, the Netherlands is a strategic partner. Given the significant progress made in recent decades, culminating in the conclusion of the Association Agreement and the VLAP, it is believed that the Netherlands will continue to support Georgia's accession to NATO and the EU.
Nowadays the Netherlands is Georgia's key trading partner and investor. There is a successful collaboration with the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), which contributes to large capital investments in the country through its financing. Cultural and educational fields as well as health care, environmental protection and other humanitarian sectors are also developing significantly. More and more Georgian students are studying at the Dutch universities.
The two countries have been enjoying beneficial cooperation in the framework of international organizations. Georgia belongs to the Dutch constituency in the financial institutions, such as the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
Both countries make an important contribution to global security and stability. Georgian and Dutch soldiers have participated side by side in various peacekeeping missions.
During my tenure back in 2005 in the Embassy of Georgia in the Benelux countries, I discovered that Georgia and the Netherlands have a lot in common, both historical and modern dimensions: the history of both countries is a fight for freedom, political, economic and social rights. The state of Georgia has always been based on European beliefs and its history consists of a millennial struggle for the values that ultimately shaped its European identity.
Both countries are characterized by the resilience of never giving up but addressing the challenges. Despite the scarcity of arable land, agriculture plays a major role in the development of both countries’ economies. In the Netherlands, land for cultivation was gained by confronting the sea, while in Georgia by resisting high mountains. The Netherlands has successfully delivered on its agricultural potential by adapting with modern technological progress, while Georgia continues to align its rural capacities with EU standards while respecting environmental protection and sustainable development. Therefore, the Dutch experience is of the utmost importance for the Georgian agricultural sector.
For any diplomat the opportunity to represent his/her own country is not only a great honour, but a challenging task as well. I do hope that with the support of the embassy staff and fellow compatriots, mutually beneficial cooperation in political, economic, cultural and other fields will be strengthened further.
In this regard, I would like to express my special gratitude to the Georgian diaspora in the Netherlands, which as the front line in public diplomacy, fulfills an important mission to bring the bilateral relationship forward.
To conclude, I would like to thank you for visiting the Georgian Embassy’s website and the social network accounts (Facebook, twitter). This will help you to learn more about the activities, the services offered and the bilateral relations agenda. I believe through your engagement we will make relationship between two countries more diverse.