The President of Georgia delivered a speech at the session of the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament

The President of Georgia spoke about Georgia's territorial integrity, peace initiative, Russia-Georgian relations, carried out reforms and constitutional amendments at the session of the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament. Mikheil Saakashvili was answering the questions asked by the members of the European Parliament.

"We hope to get close to European Parliament. Of course we know that we need your help in those reforms that we are carrying out. Regarding Russian leaders - we expect them to understand that Georgia exists and it has democratically elected government. We must be as flexible, open-minded and ready for the compromise that will be based on the major principles of relations between the governments", Mikheil Saakasvhili stated.

The President of Georgia spoke about the importance of peace initiative as well.  

"We have presented this initiative envisaging the fact that the territorial integrity of Georgia is violated. It is obvious that it should be restored. We must develop a legal status for those territories that are considered occupied under International Law. We don't need this legalization only to get morally satisfied but for creating sufficient situation in order to restart negotiations and establish personal ties", he stated.

"Before the war has started I wrote a letter to President Medvedev, because the provocations were growing. I have even tried to call him couple of times, but Prime Minister Putin answered the phone. I was thinking what could I do to avoid a war. I told them to withdraw their forces from 100 km line that was empty from the population and gave people chance to return to their own houses. We weren't saying anything about the status, international administration and free economic zone that we wanted to develop there. Their answer was that the return of IDPs wasn't subject to be discussed", the President of Georgia noted. 

The members of the European Parliament got interested in outcomes of NATO Lisbon Summit and in details of meeting with President Obama. The President of Georgia positively evaluated outcomes of NATO Lisbon Summit and negotiations held with his US counterpart. 

"Issue of Georgia's integration is still on agenda and Ukraine's decision had no influence on us. It is also important that they supported our reforms in Lisbon. I met with President Obama that expressed his support towards Georgia. President Medvedev stated during the press conference that there is disagreement on Georgia and that Georgia's issue is on top among those subjects that needs to be discussed", the President of Georgia noted.

He once again spoke about the will of Georgian people on NATO integration.

"More than 70 percent of Georgians support Georgia's integration to NATO and it means that Georgian people have no other alternative. We are the biggest contributors to Afghan operations per capita, Georgians serve in Helmand province and I promise we will increase the number of our troops in this operation. We are going to send our instructors and police officers in Afghanistan as well", Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

One of the major issues at the session of Foreign Relations Committee was constitutional amendments. President Saakashvili believes that increase of Parliament authority is an important step forward.

"This changes will even strengthen our Parliament. Venice Commission, after so many years of cooperation, stated very clearly that this reform responds to all European norms. The only remark they made was that we had to decrease President's authority. We will have a government subordinated to the Parliament that will report to the Parliament on the daily bases. More or less it will be Parliamentary government that is a huge achievement for our region. I can tell you that this Constitution couldn't be tailored on someone, especially on me personally. We have huge reforms ahead, like for example moving Parliament to the second biggest city of Georgia. At the same time we carry out reforms in educational and social spheres. Regarding media - the Parliament has already presented a draft on the media ownership transparency. BBC was monitoring the local elections and it is noted in their report that elections were covered in a fair way both in case of opposition and for the government", the President of Georgia stated. 

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