The President of Georgia returned home with the rescued sailors

The President of Georgia arrived in Batumi from Istanbul with the Georgian sailors rescued from captivity of Somalian pirates. Mikheil Saakashvili talked with the sailors on the plane, once again congratulated them on their safe return to their homeland, and familiarized them with the details of the actions that the Georgian State administered in order to secure their rescue. The Head of State spoke with them about the changes that have occurred in Batumi while they were absent.

As Mikheil Saakashvili noted, the Georgian nation is impressed by their perseverance in incredibly tough conditions.

“I met the New Year in Batumi and I made one of the wishes about you – I thought you did not have a chance to meet the New Year in your homes and I wished that you would at least meet the Old New Year at home. It means that New Year wishes do come true. Everyone is impressed by you and your perseverance. You lived through a lot of bad things – this is the nature of a Georgian man. Surviving such a hell really means being born again. I would like to toast to your freedom, being born again, and your wishes coming true” – noted the President of Georgia while talking to the sailors.

The Head of State noted that the Georgian side did not stop fighting for their return for even one minute. According to him, he did not have a chance to meet with the families of the sailors because information could have been leaked and ruin the plans of the government to save them. That is the reason the First Lady was the one who met with the families of the sailors several times.

Mikheil Saakashvili wished prosperity to the members of the families of the sailors, because like these sailors, they showed a lot of courage and persistence.

The rescued sailors thanked the President of Georgia in their turn.

“You gave us our life back. You are a true President of the Georgian nation. We will light a candle at the church in your name and ask God to give prosperity to your family” – they stated.

While talking to them, Mikheil Saakashvili also focused attention on the changes that have occurred in their absence from Batumi.

“Some of you have not been to Batumi in 2 years. The Radisson Hotel, Piazza, Public Service Hall, the new airport highway, the Alphabet Tower - which you will see is very beautiful, the new Art Center, the new boulevard -which is extended all the way to the airport have been built here in your absence. Batumi is a completely new city. The population of Batumi is 180,000 currently, but based on my predictions, it will reach 300,000 in the next few years. Batumi is practically a new city” – noted the President.

Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about the new refugee neighborhood in Batumi, where refugees have moved from Tskaltubo and Kutaisi.

I opened a new neighborhood in Batumi, where several dozen buildings of European standards have been erected. We built this neighborhood very quickly, in 6 months, which means that it created many jobs and it will create even more. It was built for the refugees and they mostly moved here from Kutaisi, Tskaltubo as well as from several other places. Batumi needs more residents because it is expanding…the construction of a new Seaport is going to begin soon and the nearby area is being built by “Royal Caribbean.” Next year, 300-400 meter ships will dock in the new seaport” – stated Mikheil Saakashvili.

Family members and relatives greeted the rescued sailors and Mikheil Saakashvili at the Batumi airport.

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