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French President to Ceremonially verify the Support of Europe Regarding the Sovereignty, Freedom, and Territorial Integrity of Georgia

Published: October 7, 2011 | 5:06 pm
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French President to Ceremonially verify the Support of Europe Regarding the Sovereignty, Freedom, and Territorial Integrity of Georgia

Nicolas Sarkozy : “Regarding myself, when I am in Tbilisi, I feel like I am in Europe.”

The COMMERCIAL TIMES

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, who mediated ceasefire between Russia and Georgia three years ago, arrived in Tbilisi late on October 7– the last stop on his trip to the South Caucasus countries.

President Saakashvili welcomed the French counterpart in the Tbilisi airport. After the official meeting ceremony, the two presidents drove to the European House, where they held a 15-minute unofficial meeting.

The presidents were met by Georgian famous singer Sopho Nizharadze, who performed the national anthems of the two countries.

Sarkozy made an outdoor speech on Freedom Square, decorated with French, Georgian and EU flags.

“When I arrived in Georgia, on the night of August 12, 2008, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of you stood in front of Parliament in order to boldly protest the offenses against your country and express your determined will to rescue its freedom. Three years have passed and I am glad that I can address a free nation and free people at Liberty Square!”, stated French President. “One part of your territory has been taken away from you. It is as acute as a severed limb, the existence of which one always feels. Important military forces not only stay at your door but are also strengthening their position against all manner of strategic logic, while ignoring their oath. I am ceremonially verifying the support of my country and Europe regarding the sovereignty, freedom, and territorial integrity of your country.”

Sarkozy verified his obligation to closely monitor the fulfillment of the signed agreement, because it obligates the countries that have signed it, in keeping their word, honor and integrity.

“”Georgia should be able to freely express aspiration to become a member of NATO if its people so desire and the members of this alliance, whom are not against anyone, will support this process by the same rules used during the Bucharest Summit. It is the free will of Georgia to express aspiration towards the EU and become its member one day. Regarding myself, when I am in Tbilisi, I feel like I am in Europe,” noted French President. “Since 2004, the wealth of your country has increased ten times. The income of each person was 765 USD in 2002 and has now become 4,500 USD – much higher than in many countries of the former Soviet Union. Georgia is an attractive country today, because of the judicial and tax revolutions started by you. In terms of doing business you have moved up from 112th place held to12th place in the world. The influx of foreign investments is not a coincidence.”

“The strategy of internal reforms and openness should convince the populations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia of the fact that their future means standing by the side of their Georgian compatriots, in an open country and not in isolated and enslaved pseudo states,” Sarkozy said.

“Exactly today, we can loudly state with the utmost confidence that the politics of frightening and pressuring our people, embargoes, bombing and conquering have failed and hundreds of thousands of our citizens are still forced out of their homes. However, the plan of isolation and submission of Georgia has failed,” declared Georgian President. “The attempt of those who desired to stop our striving towards the European Union and Trans-Atlantic Alliance has failed. The radical reforms that we launched since 2003 in every part of the society had one purpose – the European transformation of Georgia, turning our ancient European nation into a modern, democratic and European state.”

Two media centers were opened in Tbilisi due to Sarkozy`s upcoming visit: one- in the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and the other- in the European House.

Journalists from almost all over the world were covering the French President’s to Georgia.

After the presidents` public speeches, each of them lasting for 20 minutes, they drove to the president`s residence in Avlabari district, where official meeting was held.

Unprecedented security measures have been taken in Tbilisi due to the French president`s visit.

Sarkozy visited Yerevan on October 6 and visited Baku on October 7 before arriving in Tbilisi.

3 Years Ago

French President Nikolas Sarkozy visited Georgia for the first time three years ago on August 8, 2008. Sarkozy arrived in Tbilisi for the second time four days later, on August 12, after he met with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev in Moscow and made him sign the ceasefire agreement, which had to stop Russian intervention in Georgia. The terms of the six-point agreement was prepared by Sarkozy as the mediator in these negotiations and as the leader of the EU president country.

In autumn 2008, from Europe`s highest tribune Sarkozy reiterated his position and called on Russia along with 26 European leaders to fulfill the terms of the ceasefire, which included return of Russian troops to the previous positions. Sarkozy then accused Russian leaders of failing to meet their obligations; however, Russia remains also very firm in its occupant policy and the two Georgian regions Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are still occupied by Russian troops added to this the absence of international monitoring missions on the ground.

The ceasefire agreement ended the five-day war in Georgia, which grew the number of IDPs in the country.


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