Mikheil Saakashvili: “Akhaltsikhe should become the main crown of new rehabilitation”

Greetings all!

You cannot imagine what a great honor it is for me to meet you.

We opened a hospital in Adigeni today; one we could only dream of in the past.

This is a dream come true for me because in the past only a few people could get medical care in such conditions.

This is the idea of equality – every person should be able to study and get medical care in respectable conditions.

The things that were available for very rich people in the past, during the time of the previous government, just like it is in neighboring countries, are being done in the name of the people, for the future of people, and for the future of our children in Georgia now.

We have now decided to build libraries across the entire country. Where should we have built the first library if not in the homeland of Rustaveli?

You know that the most beautiful part of our country, Akhaltsikhe was an abandoned place in Georgia for decades.

This was a military zone for one empire, for another empire…a lot of people were displaced from here because they needed it for military games.

After the Russian military left, after 2008 when Russian soldiers could not come in here, since we started the rehabilitation of this place it is no longer a distant, abandoned place or a province.

By our decision, Akhlatsikhe will become one of the main centers of Georgia and our main pride, the main crown of the new rehabilitation of Georgia. There is truly a base for this here.

You know that we have started the reconstruction of one of the most ancient castles of Georgia – the Akhaltsikhe Castle.

A historic castle of the middle ages is the main and the most important heritage of the entire region.

We already have experience in rebuilding Signagi, Mestia, Batumi and Kutaisi; we have implemented projects around Batumi, we are now going to rebuild Telavi, Kvareli and the entire Kakketi region. This is why we have decided to transform Akhaltsike into the best place for you and for the rest of Georgia based on experience, fairly large knowledge, enthusiasm, and resources.

The people here deserve to live better and I promised you that they will.

I’ve never forgotten our meetings before the Presidential elections at the end of 2007. Many people thought back then that this place couldn’t be rehabilitated and nothing would be done here. Many thought that this epoch would end before its beginning.

Back then, you came to me while visiting this place and told me “everything is beginning now and we will build this country together”.

We won back then and we will win in the future, because no matter how many forces wishing to return us to the past gather together, no matter how much they try to return us to the Soviet Union, dark streets, no roads, and no prospects, they won’t succeed.

The Georgian people are not at a place where these forces are gathering, but we are at a place where we are– you are the Georgian people; Georgian people are the people who brought this country up until now, didn’t let anyone ruin it, did not lose hope, and left us a chance to make our dreams come true.

Of course much more needs to be done and there is still a lot of poverty. It is absolutely clear that the representatives of the older generation must do more. No matter how much GEL will be added to the pension package it won’t be enough. Also, we need to make schools even better. We have already built the best schools in several places and we are building several of them here.

The most important thing that we have to grasp is that the last large rebuilding epoch here was in the times of Tamar.

The Patriarch showed us a very large beautifully-created icon “The Hope of Georgia” at the Trinity Cathedral yesterday. Bishop Nikoloz told me that the creation of such an icon is not an ordinary occurrence.

Of course, there is still a lot of poverty but let’s recall the last time such icons were created in Georgia; the last time such a rehabilitation took place in Georgia; such good conditions created at a time when the enemy was on our territory. The Georgian people have always had talent, but nothing was being done over the centuries…the last time a rehabilitation took place was in the times of David and Tamar.

I would like to ask you, the people who know about this epoch…. Was there such rehabilitation in Akhaltsikhe since the time of Tamar?

What was not done for 8 centuries in Akhaltsikhe, we are doing now.

The Akhaltsikhe Castle, this miracle where I have been several times, is being built by several hundred Aklatsikhians and residents of the surrounding villages.

They have built this library, the public service hall, a police building and other new buildings; they are also renovating schools and more.

This is not done by the government, the governor, the township head – this is being done by you.

Today people should do it and they are doing it collectively, what David the Builder and King Tamar did separately.

The people proudly fly a 5 cross flag, which irritates foreign and domestic enemies a lot.

We will keep building glass palaces, despite the fact that they don’t find this pleasant either.

They don’t like the roads built by us; neither the glass bridge in Tbilisi nor other beautiful buildings.

You know why? Because it appears that Georgia is able to do things better and become a more attractive country.

We will never be drained of energy, we will never lower the 5 cross flag, we will fight for the final liberation of our country and we will never stop building our country with you.

Thank you brothers!

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