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Saakashvili visits Hungary

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, May 24
Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili met his Hungarian counterpart Pal Schmitt in frames of his first official visit to Hungary on May 23. The two leaders held a joint press conference after the meeting, Georgian President’s administration reported on Monday. Saakashvili thanked his Hungarian colleague for his support to Georgia. “I am very thankful for everything Hungary did for Georgia during the August war. Hungarian officials made very loud and strong statements in support of Georgia then,” he said “in conditions when all kinds of provocation and pressure is being made against Georgia, we are still getting support from Hungary in terms of Georgia’s NATO and EU integration,” Saakashvili added.

The President said that the Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili will visit Hungary “in the near future” and the Hungarian Interior Minister will arrive to Georgia as well. The Ministers will share their experience in terms of police reform with each other, Saakashvili noted. “Hungary is a country where many important changes are being carried out. Our visit’s aim is to share this experience,” he stated.

The Hungarian President assessed Saakashvili’s visit to Hungary as “historic.” “There are new prospects for strengthening diplomatic ties between the two countries. Georgia has become a transit corridor. We are interested in deepening economic relations and want to start direct flights between the two countries,” Pal Schmitt noted.

In the frames of his visit to Hungary the Georgian President visited Hungarian poet Sandor Petofi’s museum, where monuments of Georgian poets Grigol Abashidze and Bagrat Shinkuba are placed. “We are here to honor newly erected monuments. It is symbolic that the monuments of Grigol Abashidze and Bagrat Shinkuba are placed side by side,” the Georgian President noted “I knew Grigol Abashidze from my childhood and I know very well that he was Shinkuba’s very close friend. Sandor Petofi’s story is also very important, because he died when fighting the Russian army headed by General Paskevich. Paskevich was one of the main invaders and destroyers of Georgia,” he said.