Speeches & Statements
Speech delivered by President Mikheil Saakashvili at the Parade dedicated to the Independence Day of Georgia
Soldiers of our nation!
Four months ago, for the first time I stood in front of my nation and swore to get Georgia back and substitute the years of disappointment and black out with the new feeling of hope and unity.
I asked you to stay together to restore justice and dignity and establish governmental institutions.
On the day of my inauguration I swore to make our ancestors' dream come true, the dream of those heroes who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Georgia - it is symbolic that today we have gathered at 300 Aragvian monument.
I promised that we would launch the process of unification of Georgian nation. I asked you then to trust me and believe in our better future.
Today we witness the first results of our beliefs. Four months ago skeptical people prevailed among us as well as among those residing abroad. Pessimists were predicting that we would fail from the very fist moment; they could not imagine that it was possible to improve situation in Georgia. But still, today I am standing in front of you. Georgia is on its right way and no one can deny it. Today, our people are becoming stronger. Our faith instead of diminishing becomes even stronger. Today our beliefs stand on actual achievements. Today Georgia once again is given the chance to become a powerful state. Georgia can become the state where our children will be proud of their origin, citizenship, and their passports. Georgia can become the state that will be respected by its neighbors.
We witness the first signs of it. We have launched war against corruption and have already won the first battle. Today, there is not a single person who enjoys immunity at any level of Georgian government. We have neutralized and disarmed several gang groups. Made serious progress in strengthening the armed forces and I would like to emphasize, that today the trust towards our armed forces is increasing significantly.
Today, there is a citizen of Tbilisi Roland Nebieridze among us who is the father of five sons. All five of them are old enough to serve in military; though none of them has joined the military yet due to the lack of trust towards government. And now, Mr. Nebieridze has made a decision to send all of his five sons to the Georgian army.
We have gained a series of success at international arena as well. Georgia's reputation is fully restored. Georgia, as never before, is popular around the world. We established tight links with the United States of America and we remain to be its military ally in fight against international terrorism. We have made a decision to triple Georgian contingent in Iraq. We should support those soldiers who want to go to Iraq.
We have improved our relations with Russia and Turkey, and have moved on the new stage of partnership with Azerbaijan and Armenia.
For the first time there are talks about Georgia becoming the candidate of the EU membership.
What do we mean when we talk about getting Georgia back. We mean that every reform should go in its due course. We mean that every Georgian family should benefit from these changes.
Who should get Georgia back. The answer to this question is inside each of us. It is the responsibility of every citizen of this country to get Georgia back. It is the essence of life and a goal for each of us. Getting Georgia back means its unification.
We have made the first steps towards it in Ajara. Nowadays Ajara and Batumi are free and it is the merit of every Adjarian and every Georgian who believed in the liberation and unification of Georgia.
When we are talking about unification of the country we should take into consideration the background of Georgian nation - once two leaders believed that power is in unity. When two great kings of Georgia Parnavaz and Quji stood together, Georgia became united. Georgia was established as the country only then, when the governors of different regions placed country's interest above their private interests. They put aside egoism, private interests, thrive for power in order to establish peace.
We Stand United.
Unlike many other countries Georgia was not established by means of power and invasion. In reality our nation, our unanimity, our identity is a mixture of tolerance, humanity, solidarity of citizens of Georgia and diversity of our culture.
Today on the Independence Day of Georgia I would like to call for wisdom of our ancestors. In respect to their tolerance, affection, self-sacrifice and respect for human values we should reunite our country.
I would like to emphasize that neither Georgia nor its president will put up with disintegration of Georgia. Therefore, we offer immediate negotiations to our Abkhazian and Ossetian friends. We are ready to discuss every model of statehood by taking into consideration their interests for the promotion of their future development.
I would like to address our Ossetian friends and express great respect for them. Georgian government will always promote the interests of every Ossetian living in Georgia. As the President of Georgia, I would like to address them in their mother tongue and promise all Ossetians living in Georgia that our government will protect their mother tongue and give it a state status.
(Afterwards the President of Georgia addressed the Ossetians in Ossetian language).
I would like to address Abkhazians as well and once again offer them to negotiate on federal relationship with broad right and international guarantees to their autonomy. We extend a hand of friendship to our Abkhazian people and I am ready to repeat what I have said in Abkhazian language.
(The President of Georgia addressed Abkhazians in Abkhazian language).
And I would like to address all Georgians and ask them to be tolerant, and be able to see not only others' mistakes but our own ones as well. We should be able to extend our hand of friendship to everybody who wants it. While talking about getting Georgia back we should take into consideration that every fifth citizen of Georgia has left the country. War and lack of prospects made these people leave their homeland. Some of them now have children who never saw Georgia. Today our aim is to help these people to come back to Georgia. The Georgian Constitution gives right to the President of Georgia to grant Georgian citizenship to citizens of foreign countries if it is within the interest of the country.
Today I have addressed our countrymen, our flash and blood, residing in different countries of the world. Due to national interests I decided to grant Georgian citizenship to every citizen residing abroad who wishes it and addresses us with the request. We should all meet the challenge of the future.
We have tortured a lot. The key reason for our torture was our disintegration. My greatest request to all of you is to stand united. We have sufficient endurance, culture, and intelligence to change our country for the better and make it a truly European state. The energy that is necessary to achieve our aims is within each of us, in our originality that made us survive through centuries and brought us to these days. Me and my government took responsibility to honestly serve our country.
At the same time, I would like to ask for your help, support and active participation in the state building process.
Let God give us endurance and wisdom
Let St. George guide us to our victories.
of the President of Georgia