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The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by two civil conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These two territories remain outside the control of the central government and are ruled by de facto, unrecognized governments, supported by Russia. Russian-led peacekeeping operations continue in both regions. The Georgian Government put forward a new peace initiative for the peaceful resolution of the status of South Ossetia in 2005.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 4,646,003 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Georgian(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Georgian

Official Language(s): Georgian

Major Languages Spoken: Aramaic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, Ossetian, Russian

Map of Georgia

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): None

Country Name (short form): Georgia

Country Name (local long form): None

Country Name (local short form): Sak'art'velo

Name of Capital: T'bilisi

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Georgia: Turkey, Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan

Land Area: 69700 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than South Carolina

Total Land Boundry: 1,461 km

Coastline: 310 km

National Holiday: Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note - 26 May 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union

International Phone Code: 995

Currency Code: lari (GEL)

Internet Country Code: .ge

US Embassy Location: 11 George Balanchine Street, T'bilisi 0131

US Embassy Mailing Address: 7060 T'bilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060


Georgia flag

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