‘We strongly Support Georgia’s Territorial Integrity‘
13 June, 2013
‘We strongly Support Georgia’s Territorial Integrity‘

Brazil Dedicates Stamp to Diplomatic Relations

The stamps dedicated to the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Georgia were issued by the Brazilian post office. The stamps which depicts paintings of Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani “The Angler” and Brazilian painter Antonio Rafael Pinto Bandeira’s “Lenhador” were issued on May 26 - Day of Independence of Georgia. Georgian Journal talked to the Ambassador of Brazil Carlos Alberto Asfora about Georgian Brazilian relations.


Carlos Alberto Asfora: Brazil and Georgia established
diplomatic relations 20 years ago in New York at the United Nations. For many years our diplomatic relations were conducted without the Resident Embassies. It happens frequently in the diplomatic life when ambassadors are in charge of different countries; we call it cumulative Embassies. The Embassy of Brazil was located in Moscow and it was in charge of Georgia too. Then the Embassy in Ankara was cumulative with Georgia. Three years ago, in 2010, Georgia decided to open an Embassy in Latin America and Brazil was chosen as the first country in Latin America. In the diplomatic world every country follows the rule: I treat you as you treat me; it’s called reciprocity. Consequently, Brazil had the diplomatic duty to reciprocate Georgia’s initiative, which was one side of the issue. The other side is that Brazil has in recent years occupied a larger space in the international political scene. Brazil aspires to become a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. Also Brazil’s economy has grown substantially. Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world. Brazil is a global trader. And Georgia is a very strategic country.
Q. How do Latin America and Brazil see Georgia strategically and how Brazil views the issue of occupied territories of Georgia?
A. We strongly support Georgia’s territorial integrity. Brazil doesn’t recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We only accept the internationally recognized borders of Georgia.
Q. Are there developed cultural relations between Georgia and Brazil?
A. I can see that there are more Brazilian cultural spheres developed in Georgia then vice versa. Georgia’s culture is not very well known in Brazil unlike Brazilian culture, which is better known in Georgia. I was very surprised when I first came to Georgia and saw that Brazilian music is appreciated here. Also, Brazilian music is very popular on television and Georgian restaurants. Also it is my job to make Georgian culture more known in Brazil. But Georgia has an excellent Ambassador in Brazil - OtarBerdzenishvili. He is very active and it was his initiative to produce those stamps. One stamp shows Pirosmani’s painting, which is very beautiful. The other one shows a Brazilian painter’s work. It is a marvelous initiative to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. It was my friend Otar who had the idea and who put it through. I strongly sympathize with this initiative because when I was posted in the Netherlands, I took the initiative to issue stamps of Brazil and the Netherlands. It is a coincidence but it shows that we have a similar attitude towards our jobs. And it is significant because the stamp saw the light on the Georgian Independence Day - May 26. We are learning new things about each other every day and nevertheless we don’t know much about each other. I’ve been here almost two years while the Georgian Embassy exists for three years in Brazil; however, we already achieved some progress in getting acquainted with each other. But we have a long way to go. We had the honor to receive Her Excellency Maia Panjikidze, Minister of Foreign Affairs - she visited Brazil in April. She had a very good visit in Brasilia - our capital. She met with our foreign minister, the members of the lower house of the parliament and the members of the Georgian- Brazilian friendship group at the upper house of the parliament. A very important Brazilian Senator Mr. Christovam Buarque visited Georgia last year. Prior to that, there were visits of Georgian high officials to our country.In late May, a Brazilian Vice Foreign Minister, Ambassador Hadil Vianna, visited Tbilisi with a business delegation.
The Brazilian aircraft maker EMBRAER wants to enter the Georgian market. EMBRAER’s representatives visited the Tbilisi Aircraft Manufacturing to study the opportunities of cooperation. Many representatives of different companies visited Georgia with the aim to explore possibilities of investment and cooperation. His Excellency Bidzina Ivanishvili who gave us the honor to receive the Brazilian delegation, said in the meeting that Brazil is Georgia’s strategic partner in Latin America, which is very important for us. Consequently, I can feel that our relationship is developing in the right direction.


 

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