The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili visited Didi Liakhvi gorge


The President has personally wished the people of Tskhinvali region a happy New Year during his visit to the Didi Liakhvi gorge. President Saakashvili arrived in the village of Tamarasheni with Grandfather Frost and handed out presents to children. 
Mikheil Saakashvili was received at the Tamarasheni school, which is just a few hundred metres from the outskirts of [separatist-controlled] Tskhinvali. The president promised locals that problems with gas and water supplies to Georgian villages would be resolved and a new cinema, disco and outpatient clinic would be built. The president was accompanied by the health minister. 

[Saakashvili] I would tell those villages which are still temporarily - very temporarily - controlled by the separatists that we are prepared to build all of this - schools, sports fields, outpatient clinics and roads - for you just as we are doing in the places currently under our control and we will do it just as quickly. We are prepared to do all of this for you, without any preconditions. The choice is yours - you can either allow a few dubious characters to interfere in all of this and deny you your basic needs or together with the government of your country, Georgia, you can improve your lives together with the rest of the Georgian people. 

"We came here via the bypass road [avoiding separatist-controlled areas] which we built this year. However, soon bypass roads will no longer be needed in Georgia. Everyone will be able to travel directly to where they want. Therefore, I would like to say to everyone that the current situation is very, very temporary, this has all dragged out. I would like everyone to know that we are people of action, we are peaceful people. The most peaceful population lives here. Together we will restore human relations. However, not a single square metre of Georgia can remain lawless. We will defend our citizens wherever they are, whatever their ethnic origin - Georgian, Ossetian and all the others. Georgia today is strong enough to protect you in Tskhinvali, Tamarasheni, Achabeti and everywhere else in Georgia."] 

Translated by BBC Monitoring

Press Office
of the President of Georgia