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Saakashvili’s Remarks at Holy Trinity Cathedral
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Apr.'09 / 22:46

April 28, Tbilisi

Your holiness, my compatriots; as one of you I am obliged to repeat the words which his holiness [Patriarch Ilia II] has said: among all sinners I am first

I want all of us to get rid of hatred, because the worst thing that may be in Georgia is a personal rivalry, confrontation, hatred between people and considering another person as a hateful target.

We should never be ashamed of looking each other into the eyes; we should never be ashamed of shaking hands with each other after our remarks, because our offences, our personal jealousy, our personal ambitions – all these are of tenth-rate and is nothing compared with our major task, about which the Patriarch has spoken – to sacrifice for our country, to love our country, to do our best for better future of our country, for unification of our country. Therefore, I want to join this huge appeal, which was made by our spiritual father today.

I want to tell you that – of course we have different opinions and it cannot be otherwise – we are different people, we have different views, we may have various political views. Our government and we may not agree with many radical demands but despite that, whatever different our opinions may be, one thing is quite clear – our motherland, our love towards each other, respect to each other is [above everything]; we should look at each other from below upwards, we should forgive each other everything; we should beg pardon and we should always think that we should not offend anyone, we should not express hatred, and we should not express aggression towards others. Aggression and hatred will only destroy our small country.

Today it is time when Georgians should learn how to stand above ourselves and how to reach out our hands to each other despite differences.

I want to welcome the presence of various people here, representatives of various political groups.

I want to tell you that we may not agree with each other, but I am ready to go from here and resume - today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow – what we have been speaking about for a long time, to talk with each other about how to help the people to overcome their poverty, how to overcome the difficulties in our country, how to unite our country, how to stand together in front of the enemy, who stays 40 kilometers away from Tbilisi and aims its cannons against us.

But as the first step of our dialogue, of our unity, I want that we all say here, in this great Cathedral, that there should be no hatred and aggression in our relations; we differ from each other, we do not agree with each other, we have different opinions about the policy and future of our country, still we are not and will never be the enemies of each other, we are not and will never be enemies, deadly opponents to each other, we will never take arms against each other and we will always settle all the issues through a dialogue, without hatred and aggression and in the situation, wherein we take into consideration the position of the other side.

As a symbol of that, I want to shake hand with each politician present here and I want to tell them: we have no alternative except of dialogue, except of staying together and building a joint future. My dear friends, I want to come down and shake hands with each of you as a sign that we really are not enemies to each other.

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