President Saakashvili visits Batumi on the third anniversary of the Ajaria Rose Revolution


Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today visited Batumi to mark the third anniversary of the "Rose Revolution" in Ajaria, when leader Aslan Abashidze was ousted from power and Georgian central government control was restored in the region.

Saakashvili first visited the Batumi Boulevard, where he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new Sheraton Hotel together with Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze and other government representatives.

"Today is truly an important day, because this will be Sheraton's most grandiose hotel complex along the Black Sea coast, not including Turkey. There will be no buildings like this in Sochi, Yalta, Constata. It will be here in Georgia. The Radisson chain is also looking to build a large hotel in Georgia," Saakashvili said.

While in Ajaria, President Saakashvili toured a recently renovated pharmaceuticals plant. The building was repaired and the facility was equipped with modern equipment. At present the factory produces 20 types of pharmaceuticals, which are exported to Central Asian countries. Saakashvili said the plant would help Georgia become better established on the markets of former Soviet Union countries. "This factory is a kept promise. Within the coming months, some 700 people will be employed, while over 1,000 will be given jobs. Other businesses are opening in this area as well. It is important to note that this factory uses medicinal herbs that grow here in Ajaria," Saakashvili said.

Also today the president visited an office of the mobile phone operator Bee-Line. "Following Tbilisi and Rustavi, Batumi will be home to Bee-Line's third regional office. So far, only Batumi falls within the company's coverage zone, but all of Ajaria will be covered by this summer," Saakashvili said.

Later he attended the groundbreaking ceremony for another hotel, the Rezidor, which is being built on the site of the former Medea Hotel. He also inspected construction on the new Batumi airport, which is due to open in May.

"Never in our history have we made such a quick turnaround from destruction to rebuilding, from defeat to victory, from poverty to prosperity, from being deprived of our rights to being free. We have never come so far so quickly. We have never come so close to achieving our historical goal - to gain our freedom and ensure the well-being of our homeland within Georgia's historical borders.

"This is the goal for which whole generations of our ancestors gave their lives. Our generation has drawn closer to this goal than anyone because this is the generation of patriots and reservist troops...

"You are a much freer, stronger, bolder and more educated generation, which understands what it means to live in a free country. This is a special moment for our country. Georgia has never been so independent, both politically and economically.

"As you know, our main trade partner has declared an embargo on us. Today we are living in conditions of blockade and embargo. Still, more than a hundred million dollars are being invested in various projects in Batumi, the capital of Ajaria...

"Our opponents are afraid of our unity first and foremost and then of our friends. Georgia has never been so interesting for the rest of the world. We have never been as organized as we are today.

"Georgia's main strength today is in its unity and its understanding of the importance of democracy. For millennia our main task has been survival, but now our task is to achieve ultimate victory. This is a very significant difference between our history and the current reality," President Saakashvili said.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia