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President Talks Personally about New York and 9/11

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, September 13
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili shared his memories of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 with the Ukrainian media. On the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack on New York, Saakashvili gave an exclusive interview to Segodnya Multimedia and the TV channel Ukraine in Tbilisi. Comparing Russian aggression against Georgia with the US catastrophe the Georgian president discussed the world changes since the terrorist attack. He stated that, “since 9/11, America, which supported the “Colored Revolutions,” had no choice but to treat Russia as its ally in an anti-terrorist coalition,” only for Russia to then turn around and attack Georgia.

“After the Helsinki Agreement, as a result of which the world community of the 20th century agreed on the inviolability of borders, after all the international attacks, we were sure that the borders of a small country were as protected as those of larger ones,” said the president stressing that no one could have ever imagined that a large country would invade a small country in the 21st century and try to rearrange its borders by force. “I thought that such things were left in past. Unfortunately, I seemed to be wrong and similar attempts will even occur in the future,” Saakashvili explained to the Ukrainian journalists. Expressing his thoughts on the future, the Georgian president hoped that “these kinds of things will stop, or the world will fall into the abyss”.

Saakashvili further told the Ukrainian media what the 9/11 attacks meant to him personally. “I was the Minister of Justice at that time and I watched everything on TV in my office. I have personal memories regarding New York. I got married at the City Hall which no longer exists. The place where my wife and I authorized our marriage was burned along with the World Trade Center. I had been to the World Trade Center many times and of course everything I saw on TV 10 years ago shocked me,” Saakashvili told the media.

The Georgian president emphasized that the world has politically changed but “not in a good way” since 9/11. Saakashvili was not specific but said that the international political focus had shifted and that the US had started acting differently from the model which had been created by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Furthermore, the president noted that “everything is interconnected in the world,” explaining that changes at the New York Stock Exchange immediately influence Ukraine, Singapore and Russia economically.