Saakashvili promises full rehabilitation of Akhaltsikhe
By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, December 27Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili compared the ongoing construction activities in the country with the situation in the 11th-12th centuries in Georgia. Opening a renovated administrative building in Akhaltsikhe, Samtskhe-Javakheti, the President thanked the local people for their trust in his team. Calling the people “collective Queen Tamar and King Davit the Builder” Saakashvili emphasized people’s high level of participation in the ongoing renovations in the region.
He recalled meetings with the Akhaltsikhe population during the previous presidential election campaign in 2007 when the people promised to help him in rebuilding the country. “Lots of people claimed that this epoch would end before it had even begun,” said the President, stressing that he would never stop building up the country regardless of the criticism of others.
Saakashvili further spoke of the importance of Akhaltsikhe to the whole country. Promising to restore its significance he called the town “the main pride” of the country. Mentioning how the town had been used as a comfortable base for various “military games”, Georgia’s President underlined that since the Russians left Samtskhe-Javakheti in 2008 the place had regained its historical importance. Promising to restore Akhaltsikhe’s fortress as the “main crown” of the region’s “medieval heritage” Saakashvili said his now-experienced team would start restoration activities soon.
Considering the experience gained from previous restoration projects in the country (Signaghi, Batumi, Mestia) the President promised to ensure better living standards for people living in the region. “When all the pro-Russian forces backed up by foreign special services had gathered to damage the country (referring to the opposition rallies in November 2007) you told me that we would build the country together and now we have succeeded,” Saakashvili said, confident that the “dark powers of the past” won’t be able to return Georgia to an epoch of hopelessness. “Because you are the Georgian people who didn’t let them destroy the country and kill the hope,” the President addressed the Akhaltsikhe population.
Stressing how they would accomplish things which haven’t been done in the country for eight whole centuries, Saakashvili said that even the high level of poverty won’t prevent the ruling United National Movement (UNM) from following their dream.