During his two-day visit to Georgia, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Saturday called on Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili and discussed the progress of bilateral cooperation, connectivity and Afghanistan.

In a tweet, Jaishankar said, “Pleased to call on President @Zourabichvili_S. Discussed the progress in our bilateral cooperation, connectivity and Afghanistan. Appreciate her strong support for our relationship.” The EAM also had a conversation with Georgian Economy Minister Natela Turnava.

“A good conversation with Economy Minister Natela Turnava. Impressed with Georgia’s standing in Ease of Doing Business. Noted the Indian investment, trade, education, tourism & other forms of economic presence. Will work to expand it further,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Meanwhile, Jaishankar also held a comprehensive discussion with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on a range of issues relating to trade, connectivity considered as key to resilience in a globalized world and expressed the need for greater economic cooperation. “We have very comprehensively discussed our bilateral cooperation. I think there is a lot that we can be satisfied with. There has been significant Indian investment in Georgia. There are 8,000 Indian students here. There are more than 50,000 tourists who come here,” said Jaishankar during a joint press statement with the prime minister of Georgia.

Jaishankar arrived in Tbilisi on Friday on a two-day official visit on the invitation of his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani. Jaishankar was received by his Georgian counterpart David Zalkaliani on his arrival.

On Saturday, Jaishankar met representatives of the Indian community from the country’s Tsnori, Khaketi.

“As I begin the day, nice to meet Indian community representatives from Tsnori, Khaketi. Their hard work in the agriculture sector has earned a good name, enterprising Indians is our global bridge,” Jaishankar tweeted.

On Friday, the EAM handed over to his Georgian counterpart, a holy relic of Ketevan the Martyr, a 17th-century queen of Kakheti region revered as a saint by the Georgian orthodox church, that was found in India.

After the handing over of the relic placed inside an ornate wooden box a religious ceremony was held attended by Patriarch Ilia II, the spiritual leader of the Georgian orthodox church, and Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

“Warmly welcomed in Tbilisi by FM David Zalkaliani. blessed to hand over the holy relics of St. Queen Ketevan to the people of Georgia. An emotional moment” Jaishankar said in an earlier tweet.

Zalkaliani said that Jaishankar’s visit will play a huge role in strengthening ties and taking relations of both countries to a completely new level.

Considering the persistent request from the Georgian side for the permanent transfer of the Holy Relics and also taking into account the historical, religious and spiritual sentiments that are attached to the St. Queen Ketevan by the Georgian people, the Government of India decided to gift one part of the Holy Relics to the Government and people of Georgia.

Officials said this will strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding between India and Georgia.