Mikheil Saakashvili attended the ceremonial liturgy at the newly-built Monastery in
the Dariali Gorge

The President of Georgia attended the ceremonial liturgy at the newly-built Monastery named after Archangels Michael and Gabriel. The liturgy was held by the Catholicos-Patriarch, his holiness and beatitude, Ilia II. The Patriarch congratulated the President on today and blessed the entire Georgia.

During the service, the Patriarch of Georgia drew attention to the construction of this Monastery, because it is located near the Russian-Georgian border. His holiness and beatitude expressed hope that with the mercy of this church, the two countries will reestablish relations and peace will take place.

After the liturgy, the President of Georgia talked to the parish and recalled the promises which he made a year before while visiting the Sno village that were requested by the population, and kept. The road rehabilitation works are now underway in the Gorge; however the works at a 9 kilometer portion of a historical (Mtskheta -Stepantsminda-Larsi) road and a 4 kilometer portion of Sno-Akhaltsikhe-Juta road have already been completed.

"The construction of the tunnel will begin next year and end in about two years. But after this your road problems will be completely gone. Of course, we will pave this road, but a tunnel will also be built. There were two choices in the 70s. At that time, for some reason the "Central Committee" preferred to build the Roki tunnel. It is clear to everyone why they did. The tunnel, which will start before the most difficult turn of Gudauri and will end in Kobi (approximately 9.5 km), is going to make travelling possible during any time of the year, bringing Kazbegi closer to Tbilisi." - noted the President of Georgia.

According to Mikheil Saakashvili, our churches are the most important heritage of the country; the evidence of our Georgian identity and the fact that we are European. The Head of State considers developing this heritage and taking care of it among his primary duties.

"Last year, when we were in the village of Sno, in the house of the Patriarch, we agreed that above all, we had to pave the Sno-Dariali road up to the border and then finish the construction of this church. At that time, the walls of the church were being built. Although the construction of this church was mostly funded by the government, I would like to thank those who assisted in the process with private donations. I would also like to thank Ramaz Nikoleishvili, as its major builder; Ramaz doesn't only build roads, but he learned to build churches as well. Especially in the last few months, when some politicians were actively engaged in demagogy and propaganda about how we are fighting the churches, we were building this church and hundreds of other churches and took care of the construction as well as restoration. So we will continue in the future, despite what they say, it is our most important heritage and is proof of the Georgian identity and the fact that we are European. There is no doubt that this heritage needs to be taken care of and developed, which are among our most essential duties. This church is an excellent example of this. I am proud to have built the most beautiful church in this most beautiful place, "- stated the President.

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