EAM Jaishankar is on a two-day visit to Georgia on the invitation of his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani. Georgia is a strategically important country situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Jaishankar held talks on various aspects of bilateral relations as well as exchange views on issues of regional and global interest. This is the first visit of an Indian External Affairs Minister to independent Georgia, the Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement.
On Friday, S. Jaishankar handed over to the country the holy relic of Ketevan the Martyr, a 17th-century queen of Kakheti region revered as a saint by the Georgian Orthodox Church that was the found in Goa. The relics were placed inside an ornate wooden box which was given to Georgian David Zalkaliani at the airport. This was followed by a religious ceremony that was attended by Patriarch Ilia II, the spiritual leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
In 2017, at the request of the Georgian government, India sent the relics to Georgia for an exhibition for six months. The relics were then personally received by Patriarch Ilia II and a large number of Georgians. There has been a long-standing request from the Georgian side for the permanent transfer of the holy relics of Saint Ketevan found in India. Paying heed to the historical, religious and spiritual sentiments attached to Saint Ketevan by the Georgian people, the Indian government decided to gift one part of the holy relics to the government and people of Georgia.
It was a very good discussion. We discussed economic cooperation, tourism, trade & connectivity. Our relationship is doing well. There're some big Indian projects in Georgia: EAM S Jaishankar after holding a bilateral meeting with Vice Prime Minister & Foreign Minister of Georgia pic.twitter.com/EqgILZyYH4
— ANI (@ANI) July 10, 2021
According to MEA, Jaishankar will also unveil the newly installed statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the city of Tbilisi, according to the MEA. The visit and move is expected to further strengthen the close and cordial relations between India and Georgia.