Georgian Prime Minister, Bidhzina Ivanishvili, in an address to new Army recruits on the day marking the 5th anniversary of the August 2008 Georgia Russia War honoured those who fought and died for the Georgian nation but emphasised the need for Georgia to learn lessons from the conflict.
"I believe that we will draw the right conclusion from these tragic days in Georgian history and will set properly calculated plans for the future. I am convinced that our consistent policy will enable us to restore in full peaceful relations between the Georgians and the Ossetians, the Georgians and the AbkhaziansWe will regain our strength and succeed in forgiving. However, this is not enough. We must also succeed in admitting our own mistakes. We must correct what is still correctable. The present state of affairs cannot persist much longer.
We are ready for direct dialogue with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers. I am convinced we will find common language to build common relations in the future."
In the same speech Ivanishvili said,
"In August 2008, Russia carried out armed aggression against Georgia. The occupied territories were recognized by Russia as independent states. It was the heaviest blow for Georgia's statehood. Unfortunately, Georgia also has its own share of the blame for letting things the way they developed, which was confirmed by the European Union in its 2009 report.
We should not only draw clear conclusions from this tragic experience, but think about tomorrow as well. Therefore, despite everything, we have to find forms of relations with Russia. At the end of last year, we launched direct dialogue. At the initial stage, we aimed to solve concrete pragmatic issues. At the following stage, we will have to solve an even more difficult problem. Good will among our peoples gives us a hope that this process will develop positively."
The full speech of the Georgian Prime Minister is available here
source: Government of Georgia www.government.gov.ge
Political parties in Turkey are making their final pitch for votes, ahead of key presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday (24 June).