Speeches & Statements

President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili held a conference regarding the signing of Charter between Georgia and the United States.


Despite the world economic crisis, our main mission is to maintain the existing job positions and save and develop the economy. Georgia is moving along successfully on the international arena.

As you know, yesterday we signed a Charter on Strategic Partnership with the United States.

Never before has the "strategic partnership" been mentioned in our relationship, and this of course is a very important step towards strengthening Georgia, its safety, and for the welfare of Georgian people.

No one should have an illusion that this or any other document can quickly and at once solve our problems.

Considerable part of our country is occupied by foreign, aggressive power, and this power is continuing aggressive games not only with Georgia, but as we have seen within the last few days, with a very important part of Europe.

I would like to list some factors that grant this document which was signed in Washington yesterday, a historical meaning.

The first one is that Georgia for the first time in its recent history starts establishing itself as part of the international system. Until now, every attempt made for this ended unsuccessfully.

I would like to mention Sulkhan Saba Orbeliani's trip to Europe; also countless letters, which Georgian kings and among them last king of Kartl-Kakheti Erekle II wrote to European state monarchs, asking for assistance and some sort of contract of alliance. I would also like to mention the attempt of Zhordania and social-democrats to integrate Georgia into international system and receive guarantees of international defense. Though, as it was realized last year, this attempt ended by occupation of Georgia. I would also like to remember major attempt of Mr. Zviad Gamsaxurida on the dawn of our independence, for us to receive some sort of guarantee and avoid many negative factors and process, which through outside forces were developed in Georgia during the following period.

The second important aspect of this document is that through this Georgia is getting significantly closer to the Euro-Atlantic space.

I would like to remind you that the similar document led up to Baltic countries joining NATO.

Although we have a long and difficult way ahead toward joining NATO, this Charter is definitely a step forwards towards the Euro-Atlantic space.

The third important aspect is that if there have been any doubts either within the country or outside, the document has confirmed that Georgia has a success in respect of democracy development; Georgia is a democratic country and we have a democratic society... I think signing of this document demonstrates once again that Georgia is a full-valued democracy.

This of course does not mean that we should have obstacles on this road; on the contrary, we should keep going not because some one told us to, but because this course corresponds to the fundamental interests of our people. Democracy and freedom support the release of inner energy of people; they lift dignity of society, and create the society that is more predictable and successful.

The fourth important aspect is that Georgia and the United States are moving into an absolutely new level of relations. Never before has this term - strategic partnership - been used in our relationships and of course this is very important step made towards the strengthening of Georgia's position, its security and people's welfare.

With this document, we not only codified what has been happening until now, but also what will happen from now on in our bilateral relationship.

The fifth important aspect about this Charter is that there is a consolidated support towards this document in the society.

Today, I heard not only the opinions of apolitical society, but also opinions, expressions, and comments of the big part of political spectrum concerning this fact. I can gladly say that majority of Parliament, as well as every opposition group are positively evaluating and supporting this document. This is very important for our democratic consolidation, as our message to the rest of world and our partners in the United States.

Last but not least is the aspect that this document gives more importance to Georgian economy.

Another important aspect about this document is that we are starting to work on a free trade agreement with the Unite States.

I would like to say that supporters of this document are also the supporting force of new democratic administration in American Congress.

One of the American democratic leaders from Congress, Senator Kerry came to Georgia, and took the responsibility of working on the free trade contract.

Although, we did not sign this document with the new administration, we have support that is stronger and full of enthusiasm from democratic administration and democratic representatives of Congress concerning all these issues.

Different delegations from American Congress have visited Georgia several times. We had interesting dialogues and exchange of opinions with them, and they are completely supportive of us, the free trade contract, and other Georgian political issues.

Georgia, along with the rest of the democratic world, through diplomatic and political ways, stronger security systems and international collaboration will withstand the aggression of imperialism.

Today Georgia is not in an ordinary circumstance - we are under the threat of aggression...

Unfortunately, this is part of our life; but isolated, aggressive, unreliable, corrupt regime, based on dictatorship has no future in the 21st century.

What I said is proving to be right, if we look at the problems that were created on the territory of this empire and under its authoritarian regime. Though the information is strictly controlled, it is being released even more.

I am sure that injustice will not triumph.

I am sure that Georgia will be free, independent, successful and whole.

Today, our second main enemy is the world economic crisis.

Our most important goal-turn Georgia into economically successful, employed, and democratic state-this is to ensure that the negative results of the world crisis do not befall on Georgia too hard.

Our government is working diligently and is looking for ways to protect Georgia from a large scale economic crisis which developed in our neighboring countries.

We have already reached a lot. Our bank system did not collapse and it continues to work properly. List of problems that were created in our neighboring countries did not even appear in Georgia. Hopefully, issuing credits will gradually be renewed.

During these months, Georgian currency stayed and continues to be stable.

From this point of view, there is a big difference between Georgia and the countries that lost half or in some cases even 60-70% of their currency rate. These countries are: Ukraine, Turkey and several Eastern European countries-financial system of each of these countries took a big hit.

Through inner resources and significant assistance of donors we were able to mobilize 2 billion 200 million Lari for Georgia's economy.

In the period, when the salary and pension debt of Russia and Ukraine has reached 20-25%, we, not only issue salaries and pensions on time in budget sector, but we are also increasing them despite the crisis. Parliament decided to increase pensions at least by small amount, because we have promises to keep. Parliament also decided to increase the social packet, for which 1 billion 600 million was invested.

Yesterday, we made a decision and even announced that the state should become the main investor in economy-1 billion state packet. Tenders will be announced for the companies in different spheres in order to receive offers; we are planning to invest the entire sum in Georgian economy.

I would like to underline that for the period of past two years Georgia has not announced tenders of this. Despite the world crisis, we are doing more than we have done for in the last two years. I would like for everyone to take this into consideration.

This means that with the investment of 1 billion, we can create fifty thousand jobs; if our prognosis is correct and if the private sector takes active steps, within the next few months ten thousand additional job positions will be created.

This, in itself means, that in spite of difficulties, Georgian economy, (most of Georgian industries) will continue to function and create national products.

We will be main investors for Georgian economy. Generally, world wide investments have disappeared, and if anywhere, today investors have stayed in Georgia. Regardless of the war, we reached the above mentioned by no corruption, low taxes, and by effective functioning of state apparatus.

Certainly we incurred losses due to the war, but at this point, we are compensating for this through the aid received from the donors. If it was not for this aid, the world crisis would have had a much worse effect on us and the perspective of our economy would also have been lot worse.

So, our response to the world economic crisis is even lower taxes (as you know we have lowered taxes), more open and liberal economy, calm and stabilized state. The state should be free of political, social, and other fluctuations and we will reach this through public consolidation. Now, more than ever, Georgia needs stability of dialogue in the condition of democracy and predictability of political circumstances. I am convinced that among regional economies and states, Georgia will be exceptionally well.

We will continue to create attractive atmosphere for business and we will support Georgian business even more.

We will save our economy and after some months we will come out of this crisis stronger.

Problems were created for countries that are based on corruption and force, and these countries will have problems to solve; I am sure Georgia has a good perspective for solving every strategic problem.


Lika Beraia, television company "Imedi." Mr. President, you mentioned that opposition supports the Chater and talked about its importance, but one part of opposition is still critical and underlines the fact that this Charter imposes on Georgia certain responsibilities of carrying out reforms and concerning the freedom of media. What will be done in this direction and what does this Charter represent for Georgia-obligation or privilege?

Mikheil Saakashvili:

I believe that signing of this Charter once again proves that Georgia is a high-developed, democratic country. Any high-developed democracy is striving to become even more democratic, to have an open society. This is the only way. No body signs these documents in advance. This document dissipated the rumors about support toward Georgia being weakened or any other changes taking place. I do not think any one should get upset over this. Despite enduring such a war, despite the major reason of aggression being the halting Georgia from entering NATO, driving out of Americans from this region, and cutting us off from Europe, everything happened on the contrary-we signed the Charter with the United States and in the near future we are planning on signing an association contract with Europe. Hopefully nothing will stand in our way. This contract is the document of Eastern Partnership which was created particularly after the war. On one hand, this was an initiative of Georgia; on the other hand it was an offer of Scandinavian countries Sweden, Germany and few other states. Our integration is irreversible. Every one believes that Georgia is a democratic country; Georgian society is highly-developed who, at the same time, can have a difference of opinion and conduct a dialogue. Georgian people might not agree on certain issues, but in the end they reach a complete agreement on decisive issues and are able to consolidate. They were trying to convince people that this document would not get signed. Now they are saying that this document is not what we think it is. But let me assure you that this is exactly what we think it is and what we had expected. I will repeat myself that this Charter will not solve all our problems. We need to solve our own problems. This takes time, patience, strategic development, saving and strengthening of economy, building and maintaining of political stability. I would like to assure you that in this case, main issues will be solved a lot sooner than our opponent can imagine, since we are on the right track.

Tamar Baghashvili, television company Rustavi2: Mr. President, several evaluations have been done after the signing of the Charter and as you mentioned, political powers are mainly of the same opinion. Although, one part of non-parliament opposition says that the signing of this document is pointless, since the administration of George Bush is no longer in power, and Barak Obama will not pay proper attention to it. What do you think are the chances of President Obama's administration making alterations to this Charter regarding the strategic relationship of Georgia and the United States?

Mikheil Saakashvili:

I would like to tell you that we have a very close contract with the representatives of the democratic wing. After the Russian-Georgian war, it was with the initiative of newly elected Vice-President Joseph Biden, supported by the administration of President Bush and Europe that billion dollar aid was set aside by the United States for Georgia. Signing of free trade contract is not the initiative of Republicans either. This is an initiative of Mr. Kerry, chief of foreign committee of US Senate, who was the presidential candidate of Democrats in the previous elections.

If we take a look at Barak Obama's speeches, (there are not too many of them, since he states that America has only one president), he has made very sharp and supportive statements towards Georgia. I also know from the newly elected administration that they are exchanging information about all the main issues and are coordinating with each other.

America is a country, where even under the conditions of differing political platforms, there does not exist Republican and Democratic foreign politics, there is only a fundamental principle of American foreign politics. This is why America is a strong country and hence a relationship with her is attractive for many countries. We should not worry about this-of course, not all our problems will be solved with this Charter, but I would have been happy if this document were to be signed a year ago. With this document we could have avoided many bad things. Now it is pointless to speculate about the past, we should now think about the future. All this creates a solid foundation for our bilateral relationship, and in general for the development of Georgia. At this point, Georgia is country under the condition of aggression and when such a document is being signed, everyone knows well which country they are dealing with, what situation they are talking about, and what sort of cooperation should be developed between these countries. Here are few specific points that were analyzed well yesterday and are not subject to two fold and five fold interpretations. We are talking about removing the trade barrier, construction, further development of the Georgian armed forces, political cooperation and etc. This is only the beginning. I am sure that we will work closely with the new administration. After the first few elections, I had a very political conversation with President Obama and I am very pleased that he is an active supporter of Georiga, he is well aware of the regional problems and has an opinion about each issue. I would like to remind everyone that the Vice-President Bidan visited us when we were being bombed; he not only came to support us (which in itself is very important), but he came with the specific program. The fact that our budget is balanced is the result of our cooperation, friendship and solidarity. This is not solidarity toward me, but toward the Georgiana people and support of justice in this region.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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