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Address of President Salome Zourabichvili at Chief of Defense Forces Handover Ceremony

President Salome Zourabichvili, as Supreme Commander-in-Chief, took part in the Handover Ceremony of the duties of Chief of the Defense Forces of Georgia and addressed members of the Georgian military.  

Lieutenant General Vladimer Chachibaia handed over the duties of Chief of the Defense Forces of Georgia to Major General Giorgi Matiashvili.

"Mr. Minister,
Salutations to the Georgian Army,
Members of Parliament and Distinguished Guests,

This significant day for the Georgian Army, the handover of the duties of the Chief of the Defense Forces of Georgia, is the start of a new phase for the Defense Forces – a phase of development, reinforcement, and, most importantly, of institutional stability. The position of Chief of the Georgian Defense Forces is greatly important, as it is the duties of this very position to ensure functional governance, strategic planning, readiness, and the overall development of our defense forces.

The Chief bears a great responsibility, especially as we continue to face grave challenges, as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country are disrupted, as exemplary decisiveness and consistency are required from us. A forward-looking view, uninterrupted development, and willpower are key in tackling these severe challenges. We are a forward-looking nation and we have the ambition to set an example to others. The Defense Forces of Georgia have strong international support and I believe the end-goal of this partnership, Georgia earning its place in the European family, is one that Georgia needs.

At this crucial time, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Lieutenant General Vladimer Chachibaia who, as Chief of the Georgian Defense Forces, has served our country with high professionalism. Starting today, Major General Giorgi Matiashvili is taking over this highly responsible mission. I declare my full confidence in him as he takes over this position and believe that the Defense Forces will further develop and strengthen under his leadership.

I would like to address the Georgian Army and express my gratitude for their professionalism, loyalty, and dedication. You are the bulwark of our country.

The Georgian Army is, has always been, and always will be the bearer of our national values.
The Georgian Army is and will remain a reliable and loyal force to our partners.
Georgian forces are portraying us in in international missions, where our soldiers make us proud each and every day.

On behalf of the Georgian society, I would like to thank you all and express my deep gratitude for your service. General, in service of the nation, I want to wish you great success. With this new position, your new responsibilities will be crucial, as you will be leading our army and becoming an embodiment of hope and a symbol of success, while our army, embarked on the road toward the country’s unity, counts on you.
Thank you"

President attended the ceremony along with the Minister of Defense - Irakli Gharibashvili, Members of Parliament and Diplomats.

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