|Saakashvili sings national anthem with
teenagers from the youth camp in Kodori.
President’s press office photo.
He was speaking in a newly opened state-sponsored youth ‘patriotic' camp in the gorge. According to the president’s press office, Saakashvili is on vacation in Kodori.
“The restoration of Georgia’s jurisdiction in Kodori and Chkhalta gorges and over Chuberi and Marukhi passes [areas in breakaway Abkhazia controlled by the central authorities, which is now called Upper Abkhazia] was achieved not through violence and confrontation, but through the construction of hospitals, roads, movie theaters and discos,” he said.
“Our peaceful policy involves setting up youth camps and movie theaters, and rejects violence and the logic of weapons… We will respond to bombings with [the construction of] new hospitals, schools and roads,” he told teenagers gathered in the new camp. “The noise of their helicopters will be overshadowed by our new hit songs, dancing, and by our relationships and our optimism.”
He also said that the establishment of youth camps was not aimed at “creating problems” – a remark apparently made in response to the UN secretary general’s recent report on Abkhazia, which called on Tbilisi to remove another youth camp from the Abkhaz conflict zone. The camp, in Ganmukhuri village and less than a kilometer from Abkhaz-controlled territory, was set up last May.
Saakashvili said the camps were a demonstration that “youthful energy can confront any kind of violence.”