Saakashvili says statement of US Congress is heartbreaking

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მიხეილ სააკაშვილი Photo: fb.com/SaakashviliMikheil

"Seeing this statement broke my heart because in previous years the US Congress adopted different statements, nothing of this kind, and instead of it adopting a statement in which issues of providing armament to Georgia, equipping the Georgian army, speeding up Georgia's NATO integration would have been discussed, the US Congress, for the first time ever, adopted such a statement. This is not just a newspaper article or someone's statement; this is the statement made by a committee of the US Congress and all that will be automatically approved. It seems, the committee adopted a resolution on Georgia's backsliding on democracy," President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili told journalists on 15 June, regarding a statement about the United State's revising the defense cooperation with Georgia.

According to Saakashvili, Georgia faces serious danger.

"All our efforts which we undertook over the past years are being actually rendered futile. In 2008, the United States sent a fleet, mobilized the aviation and that is what saved Georgia's independence. I say this for those who wonder why the US is important for us. Georgia exists today because the US stood next to us and if the US stops supporting us, we will be left to the mercy of [Russia's chief sanitary inspector, Gennadiy] Onishchenko's country. The US wants Georgia to be a strong and independent state whereas Onishchenko's homeland wants to see dependant and weak, disintegrated and unhappy Georgian nation. Therefore, there is no choice here – if you say no to the former you will get into the latter's hands," said the Georgian president.

The US Congress may revise the document on defense cooperation with Georgia. The text of revision has already been considered in relevant committees.

Expressing serious concern about persecution of political opponents by the Georgian government, the US Congress clearly indicates that the measures taken against opponents appear politically motivated: "the measures taken by the Georgian Government against former officials and political opponents, apparently in part motivated by political considerations, may have a significant negative impact on cooperation between the United States and Georgia, including efforts to build a stronger relationship in political, economic, and security matters, as well as progress on integrating Georgia into international organizations."

The text of revision notes the arrest of the Secretary General of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili, saying that "the arrest of the leader of an opposition party is especially troubling, particularly its chilling effect on political freedom prior to the presidential election scheduled for October 2013."

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