Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed his Georgian counterpart, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, to Jerusalem on Monday, saying their countries are “are kindred souls living in a very difficult part of the world … that show a big future.”
While 2017 marked 25 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations, Netanyahu remarked that there “are 2600 years that connect our people through the span of Jewish history in Georgia.” He also acknowledged the presence of 100,000 citizens of Georgian extraction in Israel.
“We’re both vibrant countries,” Netanyahu told his guest, “eager to seize the future, secure our homelands and ensure that we march on the march of progress and have a natural sympathy between the peoples both through the human bridge of Georgians who now live in Israel but also of, I would say, common sentiments and sympathies and a deep appreciation for each one’s culture.”
Kvirikashvili thanked Netanyahu for his greeting and noted, “the 26 centuries, as you mentioned, prime minister, of harmonious coexistence of our friendly nations is deeply rooted in our national memory. The personal ties and the relations between the Jewish and Georgian people are truly exemplary.”
“During the last several years, we have seen significant progress in our bilateral relations,” Kvirkashvili added. “We have achievements practically in all spheres: in agriculture, in high technologies, in security and as you mentioned, the threats that our nations face are quite similar.”
Kvirkashvili also invited Netanyahu to visit Georgia to “see the development of this country and to feel once again the special feelings and sentiments of the Georgian people towards the people of Israel.”
July has been a busy month for high-level Israeli diplomacy. Last week, Netanyahu was in Budapest to meet with the leaders of the Visegrad Group—Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia—and all five agreed to work toward improving European Union ties with Israel in the economic, political, strategic, regional, and technological spheres.
At the beginning of the month, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a historic three day visit to Israel, strengthening ties between his nation and Israel.
Modi’s successful trip prompted historian Walter Russell Mead to observe at The American Interest, “From the Gulf to Africa to all across Asia, Israeli diplomacy is more active and diversified than ever before.”
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