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Saakashvili on Turning Kutaisi into 'Second Capital'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 May.'12 / 21:52

Relocation of the Parliament to the country’s second largest city of Kutaisi and turning it into the second capital of Georgia marks “is a very important foundation for the start of restoration of full control over western Georgia”, including Abkhazia, President Saakashvili said on May 2, which marks the Day of Kutaisi.

Saakashvili, who was speaking in a theater in Kutaisi, said that Georgia’s “enemy” and its local “agents” were against the relocation of the Parliament from Tbilisi.

“Today there are political forces in Georgia, which are hysterically against the relocation of the Parliament to Kutaisi,” he said. “These people serve directly Georgia’s enemies.”

He also said that those people even adopted “colors of enemy’s flag”. Here he apparently alluded to a blue, red and white logo of a new TV channel, launched by Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of Georgian Dream opposition coalition.

Saakashvili suggested that decentralization was important in order to deprive Moscow levers to influence Georgia’s internal affairs. He said that Georgia was always easily manipulated by Russia when the country was “ruled” from and everything was centered around “only a single street” in the capital Tbilisi, referring to Rustaveli Avenue, where the Parliament building is currently located and which has been the main venue for all the major street protest rallies.

“Our control over Abkhazia in the Soviet times was only illusionary,” Saakashvili said. “The Georgian language was not heard in Sokhumi; tell me frankly, how many Georgian songs have been written about Sokhumi? All the songs were dedicated to Vera, Vake, Ortachala, Avlabari [neighborhoods in Tbilisi]; there were good songs about Kutaisi too,” Saakashvili said.

 “No songs were written about Sokhumi; it was not part of Georgia,” he added.
“Western Georgia was out of Georgia’s control,” he continued. “Now there is much shouting that we are losing our lands; by the time when [2003] Rose Revolution occurred, control over the most important Georgian land – Adjara with capital Batumi – had been lost, it had been completely out of [central government’s] control, it had been controlled by the Russian troops… The western Georgia was actually lost – the great part of it: Abkhazia and Adjara.”

“Turning Kutaisi into the second capital [of Georgia], like it was during the great King David the Builder [who reunited Georgia in the twelfth century], is a very important foundation for the start of restoration of full control over western Georgia. We should return Abkhazia from Kutaisi, like we have returned Adjara [eight] years [ago],” Saakashvili said.

“That is our geopolitics – Georgia is divided into east and west; the both [parts] are very unique. My family is from western Georgia and eastern Georgia. My heart, all organs of my body, a great part of my mentality is Abkhazia and entire western Georgia, but the other part of my existence is eastern Georgia… For me there is an unimaginable aura and atmosphere in Anaklia [on Black Sea coast] – this is my land and I want my ashes to be scattered there, when I pass away. But Kakheti [in eastern Georgia] is also my land, where I have a house.”

He also said that relocation of the Parliament to Kutaisi was not diminishing the role of Tbilisi.

“Tbilisi is the capital of not only of Georgia but of the entire Caucasus – Tbilisi is the capital of Armenia, Azerbaijan to a certain extent… Of course they have their own capitals, but Tbilisi still remains an important center for them. Ask numerous peoples of Dagestan, Ingush, Chechens and North Ossetians what they think about Tbilisi – Tbilisi of course is the important administrative, cultural, economic, historical center for all these peoples.”

“Because we have extended our hand to our Caucasian brothers, because we have announced about new Caucasian policy, because Georgia has become a genuine example for the entire region in terms of reforms and economic progress, Tbilisi has much higher importance now than ever before,”

He, however, said Tbilisi required “decentralization.”

“No matter how much noise is made about it – including with orders from our enemies, because they are very much irritated with this process, because it’s [easier] to control a single street in the Tbilisi center than control of the entire Georgia, that’s the main motivation behind our enemies’ and their agents’ struggle against relocation of the Parliament to Kutaisi – the first session of the [Parliament in its new building] will be held here on May 26 and after the October [parliamentary elections] the Parliament will permanently be based in Kutaisi,” Saakashvili said.

The construction of new building of the Parliament in Kutaisi is not yet over and even Saakashvili admitted on May 1, that he too had “no idea how the construction will be completed” by May 26.

“But I know for sure that there is no way for them [workers] not to complete [the construction in deadline]. The same is about rebuilding of entire Georgia... I do not know how we'll manage to complete everything that has to be built in Georgia, but if we don't complete it, I know for sure, that you won't forgive me and neither I will forgive it to myself,” Saakashvili said.

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