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Saakashvili Delivers New Year Address
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 Jan.'10 / 03:11

Georgians should continue building the country with one hand and hold a weapon in another to protect it, President Saakashvili said in his New Year address to the nation.

“If we want free children of Georgia to be born on our soil – like it was for thousands of years – we should be ready for holding a hoe in one hand and a weapon in another,” he said in the televised address on New Year’s Eve.

“In one hand we should be holding hoe, computer, book and other tools, which are required for building of 21st and 22nd century, modern country… But, on the other hand, in order to protect the country’s future and to protect what we are building, we should always be ready for struggle and for protection of the country,” he added.

In the 5-minute long address, Saakashvili also spoke of Georgia’s “enemy” in an obvious reference to Russia.

“These days we had a chance to again see on TV screens our enemy’s mad and at the same time very confused face. He can not understand why it was not possible to kneel down Georgia despite of so many tricks and provocations. He fails to understand that although it is possible to kneel down a separate Georgian, but it is impossible to ever kneel down the entire Georgian society,” he said.

On December 29, Russia’s PM, Vladimir Putin, said that Moscow’s decision to recreate World War II memorial, which was demolished by the Georgian authorities in Kutaisi, would be “another punch on the nose” of the Georgian leadership.

“A secret, a recipe of our survival is very simple – our strength is in our unity,” Saakashvili continued, “in the unity of all ethnic groups and all the citizens of Georgian, regardless of their origins and religious beliefs.”

He said Georgia faced “huge challenges” in 2009, involving consequence of the global economic crisis, months of political instability and occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia.

“All these should have had a fatal impact for the country, but Georgia survived, Georgia continues developing and for that I want to thank each of you,” Saakashvili said.

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