Saakashvili: Reagan deserves place in downtown Tbilisi
Georgia, Tbilisi, November 23 / Trend, N. Kirtskhalia /
President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili today opened the monument of the US 40th President Ronald Reagan in Park Rike. Saakashvili says many, especially politicians ask: why Reagan and why in Tbilisi?
"Reagan broke the Soviet Union down 20 years ago and, as no one else, deserves a place in downtown Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia. Reagan is as urgent in Georgia today as never before. The leader of a country, which enslaved us, thinks the Soviet Union's breakdown is the greatest geopolitical tragedy. Several days ago, there was announced establishment of a Eurasian Union, unequivocally described as a new variant of the USSR. They restored the anthem of the Soviet Union but we placed the Reagan monument as a sign of difference between our values and theirs and we do not do it to spite anyone," Saakashvili noted.
He noted that many generations of the Georgians fought occupation. Saakashvili recalled that Georgians sent a letter to US president in the beginning of last century but received no reply.
"The First President who replied Georgia's call was Reagan," he said.
The monument opening ceremony was also attended by visiting US Congressmen.
Before the monument was opened in Tbilisi, there was the official opening of the Reagan Freedom Center. The Center was created on the basis of partnership agreement between a Georgian initiative group and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Fund.
It will be the first center outside the US to officially bear the name of Reagan and operate as an official partner of the Reagan Presidential Fund.
"The Reagan Freedom Center is a non-profit, politically neutral organization that promotes realization of principles of freedom, democracy, effective government, and free entrepreneurship. The Center promotes formation of a policy, which will strengthen democratic institutes, stimulate democratic development and strengthen security, and support further strengthening of Georgian-US relations and the process of Georgia's integration with Euro-Atlantic medium," the Center's founders said.