President Saakashvili briefs on Kosovo incident

"On February 18 western and other countries of the world will recognize Kosovo's independence. Specific statements have been made today regarding this issue in respect of breakaway separatist regions of Georgia. Positive signals have been coming from Russia during the last several months and weeks in respect of the territories under the separatists' control. I have had meetings with Russian government officials and we have reached an agreement on the resumption of direct flights between Russia and Georgia as well as on the visit of a Georgian delegation dealing with economic issues to Russia to negotiate on the resumption of export of Georgian produce. We have an initial confirmation from Russia that it is ready to set up joint customs checkpoints on the Georgian-Russian border, including in the conflict regions, which in turn removes obstacle to Russia's membership into the World Trade Organization. However, there are alarming signals along with positive ones in respect of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. I would like everyone to understand one thing - we are talking about not only a deal between the great states, but about my country, about Georgia's untouched lands and territories. The Georgian people preserved them for decades. I would never let any powerful side to infringe our territorial integrity and Georgia's sovereignty. I want everyone to hear my voice. The Georgia people will not let the infringement of our territorial integrity. We are at the decisive moment. This is a decisive moment both for Europe and for Georgia. Georgia does not have a territory to give out or a land to lose. This is my sincere and friendly warning to everyone made just few days before the declaration of Kosovo's independence," Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said.

press Office
of the President of Georgia

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