Speeches & Statements

Mikeil Saakashvili: We have a state apparatus that every citizen of Georgia can be proud of

First of all I would like to welcome you once again.

I have an impression that every one of you, every sailor has become very dear to me since yesterday.

I hope that you had time to spend with your family and look around new Batumi.

 I would like to once again thank each one of you for demonstrating such inconceivable patience and dignity.

It is symbolic that firstly, I would like to decorate the captain, the master of your crew - Memed Zakaradze with the Medal of Honor.

Mr. Memed has been serving in this sphere for many years. He has many merits and has raised many young sailors, also himself being a representative of a very good school – the school of our sailors which is one of the best in the world.

We are currently rehabilitating this school, are enhancing it by promoting it to the international arena and establishing its reputation worldwide.

Certainly, people like these are invaluable.

You are aware that we are seriously determined about the Maritime Academy and in general, about the certification issue, the promotion of this sphere and recruitment of youth.

In this respect, Mr. Memed, we will greatly benefit from the experience you and like professionals have.

Not only have your family members and the government of Georgia been preoccupied with your case, but many of our fellow citizens have as well.

Your release was a many month long anticipation for everyone.

 The head of the Government of Adjara constantly worked on these issues during this period, constantly bothered everybody, called everywhere and ran all around.

I think it is important that a whole group of various officials have emerged who have only  one concern – their own people, which has never been the case in Georgia for the past epochs.

Levan Varshalomidze has many other merits and I am sure that you would all agree, but the main criterion of evaluation of a person for me is how much they care about people and live people’s life, breath people’s life and work for them.

Levan is the kind of a leader of Adjara, who for will yield nothing for the just interest of any residence of the region. I say this without any exaggeration.

This characteristic brings many friends, as well as problems to Levan, everyone knows that there is no too small an interest, no individual person for whom Valrshalomidze would not fight to the end.

I believe that the Presidential Medal of Excellence is a much merited award for him, even more so that he has not received any state awards so far.

 The hero of these months and actually of the recent period has been Giorgi Karbelashvili. Unfortunately, Giorgi has been in the hospital since yesterday – he picked up some African virus while traveling in Africa. He did not feel well on the plane yesterday, but we thought it had to do with the fatigue. He had a very difficult night last night, but the doctors said today that there is no longer a threat.

That is why I do not want to postpone his decoration.

It is good that you did not get infected while there, you certainly would not have been treated in the same conditions as Giorgi has.

I would like to say that we did indeed raise the whole group of state officials. People who do not wish us well like it the least. They do not understand and are choked by the fact that people have been raised, who genuinely regards the interest of their own people and country as primary.

Giorgi has been working on different positions for many years now, yet I have personally seen how moderately and ordinary he lives. There is something ever greater than material prosperity or personal benefit. There is no greater reward for a person than doing a good and righteous thing.

Giorgi Karbelashvili assembled the air defense system, which helped us greatly against the Russian attacks for several days. He became the Vice-Premier of Tbilisi few a years ago when being in the opposition, we won the Tbilisi City Council elections. He played an important role in developing the playgrounds for children in Tbilisi; we also implemented the program of issuing free books to first grade students together with him.

He reassembled the radar system that the conqueror destroyed in few months after the launch of a hot stage of war.

The new Batumi airport was built under his management and Levan has witnessed that.

Under Giorgi’s management the Mestia airport was built in two months. Probably, no airport has been built in such a short period and for this, I think he should be in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

He is building the International Airport of David the Builder in Kutaisi today.

He has done lots of generous work without any advertisement, private benefit and PR.

As the release of sailors had been a very important objective of mine, I asked him to lead this case, as he has vast international experience (he conducted negotiations with various international aviation and transport organizations; as the result of the catastrophe in the educational system during the Aslan Abashidze and Eduard Shevardnadze times. Our sailors and aviation companies had been added to the black list during the last months of the previous government. The aviation companies are already being exempted from the black list and we will surely exempt sailors as well so that they do not remain jobless and hungry. This is the result of this man’s fight.

He has opposed many very influential people and interests in this case, including financial, yet he has never reversed a bit as the task demanded it so. We act in the people’s interest and not in that of some clan, as was the case during the previous Governments in Georgia.

In this specific case I would like to say – this negotiation was in a stalemate so many times that I myself had doubts about the success in the end, yet Karbelashvili would say: We will surely make it and we have to push the process to the end in every case.

Because of this, I would like to wish Giorgi to get better soon, on your behalf, and I am sure that he will.

I do not know whether they will take the Medal to him at the hospital or he will pick it up after he is out of hospital, but for these specific results we decorate him with the Saint George’s Medal of Victory.

There is a great concert outside at the moment – every celebrity of Georgian show business has arrived to welcome you.

I would like to ask you to join the people and our stars.

I would like to once again thank those people who made all of this possible.

We have a state apparatus that every citizen of Georgia can be proud of. This apparatus is working to resolve even seemingly insurmountable goals. 

There are over 600 people still in captivity, including those from the European Union. With difficulty and after a long period of time we and several other countries still achieved the release of captives. There is certainly no unsolvable goal for our people.

I thank every one of you for the patience.

Also I would like to mention that your family members showed an incredible sense of courage and patience as well and during this period they all stood side by side.

It was precisely in this instance that their daring Georgian character was revealed as opposed to only in good times – as is usually is the case.

The life of a sailor is never comfortable and it was exposed during the greatest hardship they could ever experience. Only the sons and citizens of very few countries are able to withstand it.

Thank you!

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