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Saakashvili visits Georgian Christmas village in Strasbourg

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, December 18
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili visited Georgian Christmas village in Strasbourg, France where Georgia is a special guest country this year. Saakashvili said on December 16 that 2013 is the year of “historical chance” for Georgia if corrections in internal and foreign policy are made.

President Saakashvili said after the democratic parliamentary elections in Georgia that the country has gained more chances in terms of integration into the European Union (EU). He said the Vilnius Summit scheduled next November will thus have great importance.

“Georgia will have a real chance and prospective to become an EU member one day,” Saakashvili said stressing that Georgia can get the exact plan and finish negotiations about visa free regime in a year and a half.

The Georgian President also emphasized that next year Georgia may have associated membership. He said parliamentary elections have strengthened Georgia’s chances. “Eight years ago no one knew anything about Georgia… We had a country with 120, 000 tourists. This year 4 million tourists will visit the country,” Saakashvi said, stressing that this all was achieved by the huge investments carried out in the Georgian economy.

Saakashvili said the Strasbourg Christmas village also aims at attracting new visitors.

He said Georgian products should enter to Europe because Georgia should not depend on one single market. Georgian President referred to Russia as the restoration of economic relations with its northern neighbor has become among the main issues in the new Georgian government’s agenda.

Meeting with the Mayor of Strasbourg, Roland Ries, Saakashvili focused on the European values Georgia and France are sharing. Welcoming the Georgian Christmas fair in his city, Ries expressed great respect towards Georgian culture on behalf of French people and emphasized the high level of interest towards the Georgian cultural events planned in Strasbourg during the fair.