Separatist sentiment has disappeared in the predominantly ethnic Armenian populated Javakheti region in the last four years, presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili, on the campaign trail in the region on December 24, made his comments to a group of journalists.
“Four years ago, when I became the Georgian president, everyone in Javakheti was speaking about separatism,” he said, “even the president was not able to come to this region; our officials, policemen were not able to enter Javakheti. Today there is not even the slightest [amount of] separatism here; today Javakheti is an integral part of Georgia and we have done it peacefully, without any trouble thanks to everyday work. These people are building the Georgian state together with us. The Georgian state symbols have been rooted in Javakheti. Today in Javakheti more people speak Georgian than four years ago. I am proud of it. This is a huge step forward for the Georgian state,” Saakashvili said.