The two-day Tbilisi Silk Road Forum “Connecting Today, Resilient Tomorrow” opened on October 26 with a speech by Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili. Over 2000 delegates from 63 countries, including the Prime Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Montenegro, are attending the event.
In his address to the fourth edition of the Forum, Garibashvili said the Georgian Dream Government had built and maintained an “unprecedented and uninterrupted” decade of “peace and stability” since 2012, and had brought “confidence and predictability to our nation and our partners”.
One of the major goals of my Government is to avoid war and secure peace. Despite issues posed by our geographic location, regional and global security challenges, including the ongoing war in Ukraine and alarming tensions in the Middle East, through prudent policies and close coordination with our partners, we have managed to keep our people and country safe while contributing as a responsible member of the international community”, he told the audience.
Garibashvili reminded the Forum participants about a "full-scale military aggression" that Georgia experienced in 2008 and "continues to endure its consequences".
This is still evident in the occupation of 20 per cent of the Georgian territory by the Russian Federation and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. I confidently state that despite the devastation that we have suffered, we have not hesitated to pursue our ambitions. We have been gradually transforming Georgia into a dynamic society fully committed to peace, stability and economic development", he said.
The PM also reviewed his Government’s Peaceful Neighbourhood Initiative for the region by saying “we are prepared to engage our neighbours and friendly nations of Armenia and Azerbaijan to finally bring lasting peace to the South Caucasus”.
Today, I am delighted to host both of my dear colleagues - [Armenian] Prime Minister Pashinyan and [Azerbaijani] Prime Minister Asadov”, he continued in the opening address.
The Georgian official also stressed “permanent peace” would “benefit all of our countries” as well as the wider region, and bring “deserved prosperity to our nations”.