On the 11th anniversary of the August 2008 war, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said that “this day is a common national pain, common national challenge” and President Salome Zurabishvili said that occupation should not remain “a frozen issue.”
The President and the PM, as well as government members, visited a military cemetery at Mukhatgverdi in Tbilisi outskirts on August 8 to pay tribute to Georgian soldiers fallen in the August war.
“This day marks a symbol of national consolidation, colossal work and achievement of goals that are anticipated. Support of our friendly nations is a guarantee for peace and development to result in overcoming the Russian occupation and in making Georgia a united, strong and very successful country,” PM Bakhtadze said.
President Zurabishvili told reporters that the country faces another tragedy 11 years after the war as it failed to overcome occupation. She also noted that occupation should not remain “a frozen issue.”
Also on August 8, Salome Zurabishvili released a statement, in which she focuses on unity, peace and stability, noting that “our response to the occupation is simple – not to tolerate it.”
“We do not tolerate and will not tolerate that the Georgian people residing in Gali and Akhalgori have their basic rights violated, nor do we tolerate the restrictions applied to our Ossetian and Abkhaz citizens and the infringements upon their language and identity,” she said. “Our response to the occupation is our political and economic resilience, and the continuation of our path of development.”
“My responsibility is not to allow any threat against Georgian statehood and to avoid yielding to any provocation”, the Georgian President noted.
“At the same time, reinforcing our defense capacities is essential so that the tragedy of war never reoccurs, so that safe citizens can look ahead, so that our secured territory can set the ground for stable development,” she said.
President Zurabishvili also noted that it is essential to mobilize partners so that “conflict resolution becomes our, as well as their priority.”
“Our unity is the most powerful tool in the peaceful resolution of the current conflicts. Therefore, I am, and will remain, the main advocate in achieving public reconciliation,” she added.