President Saakashvili speaks at a conference held by the German Marshall Fund


On 26 February President Mikheil Saakashvili attended a conference in Brussels organized by the German Marshall Fund. Saakashvili gave a speech at the event in which he discussed reforms under way in the country, prospects for solving the territorial conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, regional cooperation and Georgian-Russian relations. 
"Our goal is to establish ourselves in Europe - no-one can change this. Fortunately, God put Georgia in an important geopolitical location - the shortest route between Europe and Asia goes through our country. The European Neighbourhood Policy is moving ahead positively. 

"The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is a great example of regional cooperation. This winter Azerbaijan has provided us with much-needed additional natural gas in an unprecedented show of friendship. Over the past few months the Georgian people have been in large part dependent on Azerbaijan for the supply of natural gas.

"We have also maintained relations with Russia in this regard. We continue to buy gas from them, albeit at a political price. We have stated unequivocally that we want healthy, strong and well developed relations with Russia. This is very important for the region as a whole. The mistakes that were made first in Abkhazia and then in Chechnya must never be repeated," President Saakashvili said. 

He also noted that over 85 per cent of Georgia's population supported the country's accession to NATO. 

Also today, Saakashvili had a one-on-one meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at NATO Headquarters.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia