STATEMENT BY ABKHAZIA PRESIDENT SERGEI BAGAPSH IN RESPONSE TO GEORGIA PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI’S UNGA SPEECH ON 23 SEPTEMBER, 2010
Georgian President Saakashvili feigns victimization from his neighbors when it is Georgia who has victimized its neighbors with generations of military aggression and political persecution. He says he fears a Russian attack. But Russia only has agreed to protect Abkhazia from a Georgian attack. In fact it is Georgia, which has repeatedly attacked Abkhazia in the past that to this day refuses to renounce military action against us.
On the 30th of this month, Abkhazia commemorate its 17th year of independence from Georgia. There are many reasons we do not want to be part of Georgia. Since Joseph Stalin forced Abkhazia into Georgia in 1931, Abkhaz citizens have wanted to be free of a government that does not respect our history, our way of life or our identity. For decades, we lived under the mantra of “Georgia for Georgians,” initiated by Georgia’s first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia. He also said, “…subversive minorities should be chopped up, they should be burned out with a red-hot iron from the Georgian nation.... We will deal with all the traitors, hold all of them to proper account, and drive [out] all the evil enemies and non-Georgians...!” Saakashvili has continued the same policies of hatemongering and belligerence, but with a finer ear for public relations and the political sensitivities of his Western supporters. So he is wrong in assuming that Abkhazia will again be part of Georgia. We do not wish to be part of any other country.
Abkhaz citizens, whose “crime” is seeking the freedom to live their lives free of persecution and violence, understand how Americans must have felt when King George III said of their country, “Knavery seems to be such a striking feature of its inhabitants.” President Saakashvili might also take note of another important historical footnote. When told that the American Revolution had made the United States a nation, King George reportedly said, “Well, we must try to get used to it…” Today, as the world knows, Britain and the United States are two of the world’s closest allies, united in their shared belief in the rights of freedom and liberty for all.
The Republic of Abkhazia