President Visits War Memorial, Addresses ‘Second Front’ Narrative

While visiting the memorial for fallen heroes at the Mukhatgverdi Brothers’ Cemetery in Tbilisi on 7 August to mark the 14th anniversary of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, President Salome Zurabishvili alluded to the narrative which alleges that Georgia’s allies are trying to drag it into another war and stated, “nobody in this country is in favor of a new war or a ‘second front’.”

“Everyone in this country is in favor of Georgia becoming stronger, united, and independent, and long live this Georgia,” she emphasized. “These people died for this Georgia; they gave their lives for this Georgia and we should respect that.”

President Zurabishvili underscored the importance of the anniversary and said “We should not turn everything into a tragedy. These are important days and battles that ended with the occupied territories, that is, it was not a victory but Georgia still won, because today our independence is stronger, our democracy is stronger, [and] our path to Europe is stronger.”

“So [in this sense] we still won. This is why today, we must think and take care of our citizens who live in the occupied territories,” she added. “We must not forget them, we should not accept this situation and we should move forward.”

President Zurabishvili concluded that in order to move forward, “it is necessary to be united. Without unity, we cannot walk this path. We cannot join with our citizens who live in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. For this, we must forget the grudge, [and] hatred which exists in this country and sinks us all.”

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