Revived Contacts in 1992

Georgia Table of Contents

Shevardnadze's diplomatic contacts and personal relationships with many of the world's leaders ended Georgia's international isolation in 1992. In March Germany became the first Western country to post an ambassador to Georgia; Shevardnadze's close relations with German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher were a key factor in that decision. Recognition by the United States came in April 1992, and a United States embassy was opened in June 1992. Georgia became the 179th member of the United Nations in July 1992; it was the last of the former Soviet republics to be admitted. By December 1992, six countries had diplomatic missions in Tbilisi: China, Germany, Israel, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Seventeen other countries began conducting diplomatic affairs with Georgia through their ambassadors to Russia or Ukraine. In August 1993, the United States granted Georgia most-favored-nation status, and the European Community offered technical economic assistance.

Unlike some former Soviet republics such as Armenia, Lithuania, and Ukraine, Georgia lacked a large number of emigrants in the West who could establish links to the outside world once internal conditions made such connections possible. Small groups of Georgian exiles lived in Paris and other European capitals, but they were mostly descended from members of the Social Democratic government that had been forced into exile with the incorporation of Georgia into the Soviet empire in 1921.

The only large group of emigrants that maintained contact with Georgia were Georgian Jews who had taken advantage of the Soviet Union's expansion of Jewish emigration rights in the 1970s and 1980s. Because Jews had lived in Georgia for many centuries and because Georgia had no history of anti-Semitism, many Georgian Jews continued to feel an attachment to Georgia and its culture, language, and people. Largely as a result of these ties, relations between Georgia and Israel flourished on many levels.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress