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PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA HOSTS ACCESSION JUBILEE RECEPTION IN STRASBOURG

Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia hosted President of the Parliamentary Assembly and Secretary General of the Council of Europe, high-ranking guests and friends of Georgia at the Gala Reception held in Strasburg to mark the 20th Anniversary from the accession of Georgia to the Council of Europe.

Head of Government of Georgia noted that it is particularly important to celebrate the jubilee event with European friends in the environment of the symbol of European democracy, human rights and rule of law - Council of Europe.

"Twenty years ago, when Georgia became a fully-fledged member of this organization we knew how hard and long road was ahead of us. However, today it becomes clear that Georgia has transformed into a modern, democratic and dynamic state through the relationship with its European family of common values and culture. Allow me to once again use this opportunity and thank you all for the great support. We highly value our union and sincerely believe that our fruitful cooperation will further deepen in future. I thank you for being great friends of Georgia" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia when addressing the invited dignitaries.

Achievements of Georgia were in the focus of Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), who congratulated the Prime Minister of Georgia with the jubilee event.

"Today we have all gathered here to celebrate the 20th Anniversary from the accession of Georgia to the Council of Europe. Within these 20 years we have seen how the country was coping with many challenges and developing by working with us in many directions. Georgia became 41st member of our family in 1999 - at the dawn of the millennium. Since than we have seen many times how the country has been striving to strengthen democracy, rule of law and human rights. We will continue supporting and assisting you in future to advance together. We are happy and proud to have you as a member of our European family" noted the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe praised cooperation with Georgia, by referring to it as a role model.

"I am particularly happy to take part in this event. Government of Georgia is the best example of a fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe. We will continue cooperation with you. It is particularly gratifying that we had an opportunity to contribute to the development of the new edition of the Constitution of Georgia. As a result, Georgia is a country with fully-fledged parliamentary democracy. Best way to protect the sovereignty of the country is to ensure the availability of strong institutions, checks and balances that citizens can trust. You have succeeded on this way. We will continue supporting you towards this end" noted the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

Jubilee Reception was supplemented with an exhibition of imagery depicting the 100th Anniversary of the Parliament of Georgia and photos evidencing the accession of Georgia to the Council of Europe. Prime Minister of Georgia also presented a Jubilee Stamp marking the 70th Anniversary of the Council of Europe and 20th Anniversary from the accession of Georgia to the Council of Europe. It will be released in Georgia this year. Attending dignitaries enjoyed Georgian folk songs performed live by Rustavi Ensemble.