Remarks by President Saakashvili at the National Security Council meeting


Welcome. We have to discuss several issues today. But first of all we must discuss the issue of setting up a group for coordinating negotiations.

No matter what the provocation they might use or the propaganda they might spread, there is only one alternative for Georgia - make peaceful negotiations and not to allow the negotiations halt even for a minute or a day between the parties involved in the conflict and the people.

We made a decision to create a coordination group under the Prime Minister's office, which will consist of the State Minister for Conflict Resolution, Interior and Defense Ministers and all the other officials, including the Secretary of the National Security Council. On daily bases this team will focus on making the unrecognized Tskhinvali region leaders, despite their resistance and provocations, hold dialogues and discus peaceful settlement of the conflict.

The mechanism for coordinating these issues is quite easy, I think, and implies a daily contact with the people, fully utilizing international mechanisms and further strengthening of the country and its economy.

There are many people in Georgia who, while seeing the country advancing economically day by day, wish turmoil to take place there.

We are building roads every day, improve energy sector, increase budget revenue and investments, accordingly the Georgia's reputation is boosting, which doesn't please many.

We must not feel the hearts of our ill-wishers with joy, thus do the utmost to avoid any type of complication.

We need peace, development and an economic progress now and in the future.

This is the only option for Georgia.

Therefore, I ask you to frequently gather at the Prime Minister's office with this composition and discuss our joint actions.

It is of key importance that our friends the Americans are getting involved in this process and support a negotiated settlement and a peace process.

It is very important that after so many years the US Department of State openly urged Russia to stop supporting separatists once and for all.

At the same time, each of us must work to make sure that the acts of provocations are not renewed and there are mo acts of violence against the Georgian state and against peace in Georgia.

Consequently, we need a special coordination.

I'm happy that just few minutes ago I had a very interesting talk with the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko.

Ukraine got over the political crisis, and I'm very happy about it.

This occasion is very important for Georgia.

As you know we are coordinating our reforms on different levels.

The World Bank recognized Georgia to be an outright leader in carrying out reforms in the CIS space.

Reforms are also taking place in Ukraine. We need to find joint solutions to many of the problems.

We jointly worked on the police reform, actively work on coordinating economic reforms and liberalization (not to speak about our bilateral contacts, which is of key importance in every sphere). I believe that nowadays there is a unique opportunity in Ukraine for the reformers to come into power, who by working together with President Yushchenko will promote the rapid development of the country.

It will benefit both Georgia and the whole region.

Therefore, the fact that the Ukrainians reached a political consensus is very important for me.

It is a very pleasant fact for Ukraine's every friend country.

The ill-wishers of Ukraine might be dissatisfied but it is less important for us.

I would like to reiterate that Georgia will do everything to make sure that no-one is able to create a new source of confrontation in any region of Georgia, particularly in the Tskhinvali region.

Georgia is developing at a very fast pace economically, socially and politically. Only enemies of our country can benefit from creating any disorder in our country because time is on the side of the Georgian state, and our ill-wishers know this very well.

Secondly, I would like to confirm our position: We absolutely condemn any type of assault and armed attacks on the civilians.

Every person living in the conflict zone is the Georgian citizen, protected by the Georgian state. Any armed provocation must be suppressed and investigated, the responsible revealed and brought to justice.

Thirdly, we call on everybody to resume negotiations without any preconditions and ultimatums.

We have more reasons than anyone else not to hold talks, but we are still ready to hold talks.

We are ready for negotiations and will also create the conditions for all the others to feel obligated to hold talks.

There is no alternative to the peace process. Breaking off peaceful process means causing serious problems for everyone.

In this respect, I'm very grateful to the Americans for their statement to support peaceful settlement and intervention in the conflict by foreign states.

I hope the annexation of Georgia's heartland will stop once and for all.

I call on Russia to recall its officials - Interior Minister, the Security Committee Chairman and the Prime Minister from this territory [South Ossetia].

These people are violating the Georgian legislation, international law and elementary norms of relations between states.

I'm urging Russia to withdraw its weapons from this area and stop the militarization of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

I believe that Georgia and Russia will manage to resolve the problems that we have both inherited in a civilized manner, like we did in the case of the withdrawal of the bases from the Georgian territory.

However any act of escalation, militarization, and direct annexation are not within the interests of either Georgia or Russia.

I'm absolutely convinced that of this, and President Putin and other top officials of the Russian Federation have repeatedly confirmed this to us.

Any such outcome will have a negatively effect not only for Georgia but the whole region. We do not want to introduce elements of destabilization into the North Caucasus region.

Georgia is a peaceful country, which needs development and goodneighbourly relations with its every neighbor, first of all with Russia.

We are not like the Georgia two years ago, submerged in the corruption and anarchy. We are a democratic state now. Everybody should know that no civilized state can tolerate the bacchanalia on its territory: heavy artillery being brought in, the rule of bandit formations, the planning and implementing terrorist acts (however we have managed to thwart and prevent many of them and would continue to do so in the future), drug trafficking, mafia disputes, forging Georgian and foreign currencies (there are even special factories for that).

Georgia will do its utmost to establish order on its whole territory.

We need to cooperate so that everything is resolved in a civilized and peaceful manner.

We are going neither to retreat nor turn a blind eye on these issues.

We have all the means to stand on our feet and to use all methods to avoid escalation of the situation.

I urge the Prime Minister together with the coordination group make daily control over the peace process.

We need relationship between common and authoritative people as well as between the states.

Everyone must know that Georgia would do its utmost not to violate the peace and solve this issue once and for all.

This is our firm and steadfast position.

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia