'Friendship strengthened.' Zhvania
Photo: Dana Zimmerman

Outgoing Georgian ambassador says concerned over Iranian nuclear program

'Persian nation educated and wise; I'm convinced Iranians will find positive solution to crisis,' Lasha Zhvania says in special interview with Ynet before returning to Georgia after three years in Tel Aviv, 'we vehemently oppose Tehran's statements that Israel has no right to exist'

"Just like any other country, we too are concerned over Iran's nuclear program, and I hope there is still room for diplomacy," outgoing Georgian Ambassador to Israel Lasha Zhvania said this week in a special interview with Ynet.


Zhvania, 35, was elected in May to the Georgian parliament as the representative of Tbilisi's Chugureti district and will leave Israel on Sunday after just over thee years.


"The Persian nation is an educated and wise one, and I am convinced they (Iranians) will find a positive solution to the (nuclear) crisis," he said.


"We vehemently oppose Iran's statements according to which Israel has no right to exist. These remarks are in violation of international law. No country should be allowed to issue threats or act on them."


Zhvania was appointed ambassador to Israel in 2005 after serving as deputy foreign minister. "I chose to go to Israel because I felt that I should serve in a country that I'm familiar with and am fond of. I'm very connected to Jerusalem," he said.


Why do the people of Georgia like Israel so much?


Georgia considers Israel to be one of its closest allies (in the Middle East). The (warm relations) between the countries have psychological, anthropological, religious and historic roots. Today Israel and Georgia have one important thing in common: They are both strategic partners of the United States. Georgia also strives to become the 'Israel of Caucasia'. Israel's economic success definitely serves as an example for us.


Ambassador Zhvania said that during his term "the friendship between Israel and Georgia was strengthened," adding that ties between the countries were specifically bolstered in fields of trade, communications and investments.


"When I arrived here there was one weekly flight from Tel Aviv to Tbilisi, and it was only half-full at best; today there are four flights a week, and they are jam packed," he said, "I hope that by next year we will see daily flights to Tbilisi."


פרסום ראשון: 06.28.08, 20:10
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