In March, International Focus had the honor of having parliamentarians from Georgia speak to us at the monthly Citizen Diplomacy Series. We thank the Open World Leadership Center and our guests for this wonderful opportunity.
After a quick introduction, the visitors took a moment to speak to IF members about their lovely country. Our visitors didn’t simply speak--we were treated to a number of videos. The first was on how Georgia honored its 6 millionth visitor as a guest of the state! Later, we were treated to the American debut of a documentary one pair of parliamentarians made about the special relationship between the US and Georgia from its independence to its 25th anniversary.
After the documentary, guests took questions from IF guests. These ran the gamut from the status of women’s education, to energy security and projects within Georgia, to free trade, and even to the personal motivations that lead each of them to pursue a role in politics. The general view that emerged was that economically and socially, Georgia was a country that was progressing and developing, leading the world in many areas but with room to grow. However, equally apparent was that the US and Georgia had a relationship based on mutual values of democracy, freedom, and the opportunity that free enterprise provide and that these leaders not only cherished this relationship but these values themselves.
The evening concluded with yet another video - an advertisement from the majority party of their country filled with scenes of life from their country that possessed a sense of hope and a love of country. Indeed, between these scenes, the genuine friendliness of these guests, and the open invitation to visit their country (one even said they may meet us there), it would be little surprise that many IF members are already planning a visit to the lovely country of Georgia.