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Georgian President: We Must Call Occupation-Occupation

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, October 1
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili opened the 14th international forum “Sustaining Peace and Development in a Changing World”, organized by Nizami Ganjavi International Center in New York last week, where he said that it is important everything is given its name.

He said that the unanimous attitude towards the occupation and illegality is essential.

“So, what I am looking forward today and the goal of our congregation is this very important issue of calling things what they are. This is a good start for a discussion when we are unified on terms and approaches. I guess we are all unified on the principles of the rule of law and international cooperation,” Margvelashvili said.

“Calling things what they are, calling an aggressor - an aggressor, calling an occupation - an occupation, calling an occupation line – an occupational line and not- a border line is crucial. These are the terms and the words that make us even closer and create our unity and our ability to create a better future,” Margvelashvili said.

Margvelashvili said that since the very first days of independence, Georgia's security, stability, territorial integrity and sovereignty have been violated and this is a tragic part of our recent history.

“But, at the same time, Georgia still has been an active contributor to the global security and stability also from the very first days of independence.,” Margvelashvili said.

He said that Georgian men and women in uniform were participating in the very first missions in Kosovo, later continuing participation in peacekeeping missions in other places around the world.

“Today, we are the largest contributor per capita to peacekeeping missions in Afghanistan, Mali and the Central African Republic. We do acknowledge how important it is to stand together, united to combat the threats and challenges of global security,” the president added.

Margvelashvili said that in 2008, Georgia was attacked by the Russian militaries and the plan to change the boundaries of the country was put even into the international format, declaring that the occupied parts of Georgia are the so-called independent states.

“We see that the same action was repeated in six years in Ukraine. In 2014, Russia was more organized, more active and decisive in proceeding its aggressive plans to Ukraine, by annexing Crimea and occupying the Eastern part of Ukraine,” he said.

It was Margvelashvili’s last visit to the US as president as his term expires in October.