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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 21
More people want to join the Army today, Saakashvili says

President Saakashvili visited the Brothers’ Cemetery on April 20 as Georgia marked Easter Monday. He spoke to family members of the soldiers who died during the August war, saying that the Georgian nation will never forget the names of the heroes who fought against the occupiers. He said that more people had applied to join the Army since the August war. “There is a longer queue of people willing to join the Army now than before the war. The combat spirit has not diminished in Georgia, on the contrary it has risen due to the self-sacrifice of our soldiers. We will honour their deeds by finishing what they had started,” the President said.

He also praised the family members of the soldiers who died in the August war. “We have not heard any complaints from these families, they are proud of their sons and they accepted anything we did for these families with appreciation, saying only words of gratitude,” Saakashvili noted.

Later on Monday Saakashvili also bestowed awards on some servicemen who fought in the August war with Russia. In his speech at the Ministry of Defence during the ceremony, Saakashvili said bad relations with Russia were never in the interests of Georgia. He said relations with this neighbouring country should be friendly in the future. He also said that Russia has never liked any of the Governments in Georgia, and during the times when Georgia’s fate was decided in Russia Georgia as a state did not exist. He referred to people who believe that changing the Government of Georgia would mean establishing good relations with Russia in the future and recommended that they look at maps of Georgia printed in Russia.

Saakashvili said that the Georgian Government would never sign any agreement which put Georgia’s territorial integrity in doubt. He added that his administration would stay until 2013 and expressed hope that the same course would be followed by a subsequent administration.

Saakashvili said that Georgia will never accept the occupation of its territories and none of the occupiers will feel content in Georgia. He said that the everyday diplomatic fight to reverse the results of the occupation will go on.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian Foreign Minister to visit Sweden

The Georgian Foreign Minister will pay an official visit to Sweden after his visit to the United States is concluded. Grigol Vashadze will hold official meetings in Stockholm.

The first meeting on the agenda is with Per Vestergerg, the Chair of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sweden. Vashadze will also discuss bilateral relations with the Ministers of International Development and Trade. Carl Bildt, Sweden’s Foreign Minister will also host his Georgian counterpart and after their closed meeting the Ministers will hold a joint media briefing.

As part of the visit the Georgian Minister will deliver a lecture at the Institute of Security and Development Policy. The subject of the lecture will be “Georgia`s foreign policy after the Russia-Georgia war.”
(Rustavi 2)