Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili said on May 1 that he will resign if Georgia fails to restore control over breakaway South Ossetian by January 1, 2007.
“If we fail to celebrate New Year in Tskhinvali on January 1, 2007 I will no longer be the Defense Minister of Georgia,” Okruashvili said.
“In the course of this year, several very important events are scheduled; these are: the G8 summit and the NATO summit in November and we will spare no efforts to solve this problem through peaceful means with the help of our friends, our partners and, especially, with the support of the United States,” Okruashvili added.
In December, 2005 Irakli Okruashvili made a similar statement and told Imedi television that Georgia will restore control over South Ossetia by January 1, 2007.
Okruashvili strongly denied speculations about his possible promotion to the post of Prime Minister.
“My major goal, my purpose of being the Defense Minister, is restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity. I have no other goal more valuable than this and as soon as these two problems [the Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts] are solved, I will no longer stay in politics,” Okruashvili said while speaking on the political talk show 'Pirvelebi' (Leaders) aired on the Imedi television station.