President Saakashvili and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev unveil monument to former Azeri leader in Tbilisi


Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today unveiled a monument to late Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev in Tbilisi's Abanotubani district. Aliyev's son, current Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, visited Georgia to attend the event.

Both Saakashvili and Aliyev addressed the crowd. They emphasized the strength of the alliance partnership Georgia and Azerbaijan and noted that the monument to Heydar Aliyev was clear confirmation of this historical friendship.

Saakashvili recalled last winter, when both gas and electricity supplies from Russia to Georgia were cut off, and noted that Azerbaijan was the first to come to Georgia's aid.

"Azerbaijan allotted some of its energy resources to Georgia at the expense of its own population. The same happened this year - the price Georgia has to pay for gas quadrupled. Azerbaijan again gave us some of its gas. Our people will always remember this. Azerbaijan is our strategic partner today and it always will be," Saakashvili said.

He added that the two countries were obliged to stand together given their geographic location and common history. He also noted that both countries had been fragmented by internal conflicts and both continue to be plagued by unresolved problems.

"Any opponent of Azerbaijan or Georgia is an enemy of both these countries. Our strength is in unity. This is not just what's written on our coat of arms, it is the truth. Those who seek to undermine this unity are opposing our country's interests. Our countries interests lie in strengthening this strategic partnership.

"I want to welcome my brother Ilham.

"We share a common view and we have strong relations. I am convinced that these two countries will be able to create much better future for themselves through their unity, exemplary relations and successes.

"Long live the friendship between Georgia and Azerbaijan!" Saakashvili said.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia