On August 6, President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba had a meeting with the People's artist of Abkhazia and Russia, Knight of the "Akhdz-Apsha" Order, First Class, Hibla Gerzmava and also with participants of the XVI musical festival "Hibla Gerzmava invites...".
The Head of State greeted the guests.
"I am happy to see you here in Abkhazia once again. We are proud to have a star like Hibla who, I am sure, does not blind but gives warmth to many people. We are proud that every year, we hold a festival to which Hibla and her friends come and give joy to our audience. We should do everything so that these events would continue for many years. Thank you for being with us today", - said the President.
Hibla Gerzmava thanked the President for the welcome.
"Thank you very much for the welcome. Our XVI festival serves in its Homeland. I came with my friends Fabio Mastrangelo, Agunda Kulaeva and Alexey Tatarintsev. Today we will perform a concert with a very beautiful program. I am happy that there is great interest in our festival. We will do everything for the culture of Abkhazia to flourish. We are happy to be here again and we will be happy to see you sitting in the theatre stalls", - said Hibla Gerzmava.
Conductor Fabio Mastrangelo expressed gratitude to the Head of State for the invitation. He especially emphasised the talent and beautify of Hibla Gerzmava.
"I am grateful for the invitation. Hibla is not just a friend to us, she is a star like no other. I am happy that despite the difficulties that may exist in your country, you support her. This is a mark of a great country", - he said.
Honoured Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Agunda Kulaeva noted that she feels at home in Abkhazia.
"It is the second day we are here, and I still feel like I am at home. Hibla always says that she is with friends, not colleagues. This means a lot. I do not remember we have ever been welcomed with as much warmth and respect as in Abkhazia. We did not even sing at a concert yet, but it feels like everything has already happened", - she said.
The Head of State remarked that it is important for the guests to feel at home in Abkhazia.
"It is important to us for you to feel at home here. And it is important that you, a daughter of the Ossetian people, are here today with our wonderful Hibla", - said the President.
Honoured Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania Alexey Tatarintsev remarked that the high level of the welcome makes the artists feel even more responsible.
"It is a known fact that Abkhazia is a small country, but the soul, the heart, this welcome - all this is big and cordial. The welcome that you have given us is a great honour. This makes us feel even more responsible. Needless to say, through our art on stage tonight, we will try to give you back the love that you have given us", - he said.
Minister for Culture and the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage Elvira Arsalia remarked that the festival's organisers wait for the Head of State at the concert.
"Of course, we are waiting for you. I want to thank you. Even during the weekend, all institutions worked and helped, as is traditional for this festival. Everyone wants to come to the concert. Thanks to the patron Nikolay Achba, with whose help it was possible to organise a live broadcast from the Theatre square. We are ready for a big and beautiful celebration", - she said.
Adviser to the President on science, culture and education Vladimir Zantaria commented on the festival's important role in the promotion of the international image of Abkhazia.
"Through culture, we break through into the world's cultural space, and this project plays a great role in this. Thanks to Hibla Levarsovna for doing this relentlessly for many years. I feel how much soul and energy she puts into this work. She invites the world's musical elite, and they accept with pleasure. We are happy to meet with such truly great people", - he said.
The President remarked that he is looking forward to tonight's concert. He wished all participants of the festival good luck and expressed hope in the great successes of Hibla Gerzmava's future work.