During a two-day visit to Israel on November 1-2, President Saakashvili held talks with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Speaker of the Israeli Parliament Knesset Dalia Itzik.
President Saakashvili also met with the community of Jews who have immigrated to Israel from Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and attended the ceremony to opening a memorial dedicated to Georgian medieval poet Shota Rustaveli in Jerusalem. Saakashvili made a speech there with a focus on the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“We were losing everything, because we had no state. We were losing control of our territories, reputation and prestige, while a part of Georgians lost a sense of pride in their own country... Today, Georgia has changed. Today’s Georgia has peaceful intentions and has well-trained and well-equipped armed forces... The Jews used to say for centuries that they should not forget Jerusalem, because living without it is equal to being without their right hand. The same is true with Abkhazia and Sokhumi for the Georgians. Georgia without Abkhazia is a country without its right hand, while we need that right hand very much,” the Georgian President said.