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Saakashvili on S.Ossetia Tensions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Aug.'08 / 12:45

President Saakashvili’s remarks at the Gori military hospital on August 7.

I want to say that in recent days – although we have permanent contacts with the Russian diplomats – everyday attacks still continue on Georgian peacekeepers, Georgian policemen and civilians in the villages.

I want to say it openly that I am sure deepening of confrontation is not either in Russia’s or Georgia’s interests.

But what is happening now is a result of a longtime policy of hysteric militarization, constant military rhetoric and an obvious military propaganda carried out by Russian televisions in respect of this tiny region with less than 30 000 population. Therefore, the responsibility for it will be put on those people, who are stirring it during these years.

At the same time, we have no interest and I hope and I am sure that Russia also has no interest to continue confrontation and multiply problems. Therefore, we are now working and we hope that their diplomats will work with us.

I call on Russia to recall all those officials, who consider themselves as the so called South Ossetian government – less than 30 000 people do not need several officials from Moscow, who directly rule this territory. I call on them to stop violence first and then to return to their homeland [Russia] and to give the people [in South Ossetia] an opportunity for free development, free living and establishing of mutual relations.

Let us demilitarize the region, let us settle the issue peacefully. We should together stop this madness.

We call on everybody to immediately stop confrontation.

I have instructed the state minister for reintegration and my chief negotiator Temur Iakobashvili to meet with Russian officials both in Tbilisi [referring to the visiting Russian chief negotiator Yuri Popov] and on the ground [in the South Ossetian conflict zone].

We should find all the means to stop incidents and to stop the violence, to stop threats and creating of problems to the peaceful population. Of course, we will show maximum restraint, but we do not recommend anyone to continue provocations.

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