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In Ramadan Messages, Georgian Leaders Reach Out to Muslim Community

Georgian leaders congratulated the country’s Muslim community on the occasion of the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Sunday, stressing their role and the contribution to the “common homeland.”

“I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate you on the end of the month-long fasting – the celebration of spiritual purification and the victory of the good,” President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in a statement on June 25. 

“The Muslim community, as an integral part of our society, contributes to Georgia’s development through its everyday work and its devotion to the country. Therefore, your happiness – is the happiness of each of us,” Margvelashvili added.

“We have a common homeland and the history of our co-existence goes back to centuries: we are connected through great friendship and this is the wealth of this country,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in his June 25 statement. “It is of great pride that our close relations and respect to each other is transmitted generation-to-generation,” he added.

PM Kvirikashvili spoke of “common homeland” in his Iftar dinner address as well, which he hosted for the country’s Muslim leaders and the diplomatic corps on June 23. “Your role in the development of our common homeland is very important … today as well, Georgian Muslims stand ready to defend their homeland and contribute to the development of the country.”

“I am proud that our administration has been particularly supportive of the Muslim community,” Kvirikashvili said, listing the Government’s programs targeting the Muslim community, including the introduction of budgetary sponsorship, registration and reconstruction of Mosques and the opening of prayer rooms in several army bases.

Similar messages were voiced Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who also congratulated the Georgian Muslims with Ramadan Bayram in a written statement on June 25. “For centuries, we have lived and worked together for the better future our common homeland, we have shared sorrow and happiness. The whole country is celebrating the festival together with you.”

In Georgia’s 2014 population census, 398,677 people (10.7%) reported to adhere to Islam. In Kvemo Kartli and Adjara, they make 42.9% and 39.7% of the population, respectively.

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