George Bush:” I’m proud to call you friend”

The most important part of the visit of the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili to the US ended in the afternoon of February 25. Meeting of the Presidents of Georgia and the United States lasted for 45 minutes. After the meeting the Presidents held a joint briefing.

George Bush stated he had appreciated the achievements of Georgian people - change of government by means of peaceful "Rose" revolution for establishing a true democracy in the country.

President of the US remarked that the new (Georgian) government assumed responsibility to build that type of a state. "The possibility of people taking charge of their own lives and transforming society in a peaceful way is a powerful example to people around the world who long for freedom and long for honest government," he said. " I want to congratulate the President and his team for insisting that democracy prevail through peaceful means. I'm impressed by this leader. I'm impressed by his vision, I'm impressed by his courage. I believe in his abilities and I appreciate his vision. And the people of Georgia will be well-served by his leadership."

George Bush positively evaluated the course of the President of Georgia that is aimed at fight against terrorism.

Together with other issues the Presidents discussed the cooperation in military sphere and issue of Russian bases. Mr. Bush said he expected the Russian government to honor the Istanbul commitment and withdraw its military bases from Georgia. Speaking of Russia, Mr. Bush remarked it was a very positive move by the President Saakashvili that his first trip was to Russia, and he encouraged that. He also underlined it was important for the Georgian people to have good and peaceful relations with Russia.

Mikheil Saakashvili and George Bush also elaborated on the international security issues. "Our cooperation is very deep. We consider ourselves as very close ally and friend of the United States," said Mikheil Saakashvili, "and we are part of - proud part of anti-terrorist coalition. We have forces in Iraq. [...] Georgia will become stronger. Georgia will become more democratic. Democracy is top priority. [...] We need U.S. help in that. And I think Georgia can become a role model for the whole region. And this is very important.

Georgia chose its future itself and [...] it was the proudest moment of my own life and of life of the whole generation.

I have to say that this cooperation and friendship [...] is not only about security, it's not only about economy. [...] The U.S. helped us when we needed it most, and [...] Georgia will never forget that."

The President of the United States George Bush extended a hand of friendship to the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and said, "I am proud to call you friend."

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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