Georgia’s president issues firm warning

Georgia’s president issued a firm warning to Russia during an address to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The warning Thursday from President Mikhail Saakashvili, at the Conference of Presidents’ meeting in Tiblisi, came ahead of an expected announcement of Kosovo’s independence.

“Georgia does not have any territory left to be given out to anybody. We will not allow any single kilometer of our country to be given out and this is our very friendly, very open and very sincere warning to everybody,” said Saakashvili.

Russia, which backs the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, has been expected to announce that it would recognize Abkhazian independence if Kosovo is recognized by the international community.

The remarks came at the beginning of what was an otherwise placid address to the assembled heads of over 50 major American Jewish organizations, who chose to meet in Georgia this week ahead of their annual mission to Israel. During the speech, Saakashvili pledged strong support for Israel, boasted of his country’s economic development and spoke of his profound respect for Jewish history and traditions.

“The only other country in the world where I feel myself personally at home is Israel,” he said, “And I’ve heard from many of my friends that they feel the same.”

 

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