Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili meets Dmitriy Sanakoyev

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today travelled to the village of Kurta, in the South Ossetia conflict zone, where he held his first meeting with Dmitriy Sanakoyev, the leader of the pro-Georgian alternative de facto South Ossetian government. 
After their one-to-one meeting, which took place behind closed doors, Saakashvili and Sanakoyev toured a number of facilities in the Didi Liakhvi gorge which the president had earlier promised the local population to build. The president switched on the newly installed street lighting system and promised locals that the area would be illuminated just as Tbilisi's Rustaveli Avenue, Moscow's Red Square and Paris' Champs Elysees. He also promised Sanakoyev that he would build an ice rink in the centre of Tskhinvali. 

Saakashvili said he was pleased with the positive relations that Sanakoyev had managed to establish with both ethnic Georgians and ethnic Ossetians in the area. The president added that he planned to continue holding talks and implementing joint projects with the alternative de facto South Ossetian leader. 

"I wanted to meet Mr Sanakoyev personally. I have been watching him for a long time, though until now we had yet to meet. The fact that he has established such good relations with the entire local population, both ethnic Ossetians and ethnic Georgians, presents a truly a unique opportunity for peace. I think that such Georgian patriots and South Ossetian patriots are united by a common future. We are going down the same path - towards the peaceful reunification of our country. 

"We will continue our dialogue and we are fulfilling the promises we have made to the people of this gorge to build better cultural, educational and healthcare facilities and improve local infrastructure. In a word, the better the weather, the faster this process will go along and the more enthusiasm there will be. 

"I want to tell you that it is truly very easy for patriots of their own people and for patriots of their own countries to find a common language," President Saakashvili said.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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