The message reads, in part:
“Your long-standing important mission as the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, one of the oldest orthodox churches in the Christian world, is an example of selfless pastoral service. In your years of tireless work for the good of the church and your fatherland, you have made an enormous input into strengthening Orthodoxy in Georgia and representing timeless moral values within Georgian society.
We greatly value your warm attitude toward Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church. Your personal efforts, calls for peace, love, creativity, harmony and unity, have greatly helped in maintaining the centuries-long ties of friendship and mutual understanding between our peoples during difficult phases of history. I am confident that fruitful spiritual, cultural and humanitarian dialogue will become a reliable foundation for further developing relations between Russia and Georgia.”