|Saakashvili: 'Georgia Window to Europe for Caucasus'|
|February 29, 2012|
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi
President Saakashvili said in his annual state of the nation address on February 28, that Georgia was “a locomotive to the future” and “window to Europe” for the Caucasus region.
“Georgia’s historic choice is the West, but the Caucasus is also our region. There is no long-term security for Georgia without security in the Caucasus. So we will continue active efforts for common Caucasian development and we will always be actively engaged with the Caucasian people,” Saakashvili said.
“Georgia firmly supports the principle of inviolability of borders, however we see the Caucasus undoubtedly as a single united region,” Saakashvili said.
“Our enemy is irritated by Georgia because for the first time in hundreds of years Georgia has created an example of modern statehood in the Caucasus, which amounts to a nightmare for the invader, because it could never imagine it happening; that’s why it is choking up with anger,” he said.
“Not only Georgia is a locomotive for the Caucasus into the future, but we are also a window to Europe for the Caucasus, because the modern, non-corrupt, fast-developing state has emerged in the Caucasus, the state which will have free trade with the U.S. and the EU and visa-free travel with the EU,” he said.
He also added that Georgia would be “the example of development” for the Caucasus, which will share all of its achievement with the rest of the region. “That’s something that Georgia’s enemy can’t swallow,” Saakashvili said.
After that he spoke of Tbilisi’s willingness to improve ties with Moscow, offering to unilaterally lift visa rules for the Russian citizens.
In 2010 Georgia introduced 45-day visa free travel rules for those Russian citizens who reside in Russia’s North Caucasus republics.
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