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Saakashvili: Georgia and Azerbaijan face threat

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, March 4
After visiting Baku on March 1, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili stated that Georgia and Azerbaijan are facing the same threat.

According to the president, Russia intends to create a threat for Azerbaijan's statehood and is preparing the same scenario it had carried out against Georgia.

“A Diaspora has been established in Russia with Soyun Sadikov in it, who is a native of Gardabani [Georgian town] and a wealthy Russian businessman; [Lukoil president Vagit] Alekperov and some other Russian billionaires were also included in that group that aims to create a threat to Azerbaijan’s statehood with the use of money, oligarchs, Russian funds, blackmailing and provocations," Saakashvili stated, adding that Russia might do the same as it did concerning Georgian occupied regions.

The president also stated that after the new government took office, there are some negative moves in those Georgian regions that are settled by the ethnic minority representatives.

"I want to ask our society to think over these issues. It reminds me of the 1990s. When was the last time there was talk of the Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli autonomy? There were no such talks for the past eight or nine years,” Saakashvili stated, adding that these talks arose after the Georgian Dream took office and after the release of certain individuals from prison by the new government.

Deputy Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the administration of the President of Azerbaijan, Novruz Mamedov, commented on Saakashvili’s statement for

Mamedov underscored that the Georgian President’s statement “surprised” him. According to him, despite some similarities between the two countries, there is a great difference between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

“Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement, that some representatives of our Diaspora have a dangerous position regarding Azerbaijan, may be only his private opinion. I can’t believe that what he stated regarding Alekperov and others is reality,” Mamedov stated. The head of the Foreign Relations Department also stressed that such issues were not even discussed during Saakashvili’s visit to Azerbaijan.

Concerning Russia, Mamedov emphasized that “Russia and Azerbaiijan have normal, friendly relations.”

Minister of Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili stated that there is no threat concerning those Georgian regions that are mainly settled by ethnic Azeris.

Zakareishvili also called the president’s statement “anti-state and provocational.”