The former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, has made his first-to-last-ever visit to the country.
He arrived on Monday to commemorate the centenary of the independence of Georgia from the former Soviet Union, where the former president spent several months in exile in 2009 after being sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a bloody coup attempt in the south.
Georgia’s president Mikheils Saakashesvili (R) with President of Bulgaria, Igor Dodon during a visit to Georgia in 2015.(Reuters: Alik Sakharov)Mr Saakashingvili will arrive in Bulgarie at the end of the month, in a visit that marks the first time he has visited the country since the fall of communism in the early 1990s.
“I am really excited,” he said after his first visit, adding: “I am ready to make a visit.
I am very happy.”
The former president made the announcement in a televised address that took place at the start of the visit.
Bulgaria’s President Igor Dodons first-time visit to Greece.
“I hope to visit Bulgaria and Greece in the near future.””
The two-day trip will take Mr Saikashingvil to the city of Tbilisi, where he will be welcomed by former President Mikheili Saakishvili and his wife, Natalia. “
I hope to visit Bulgaria and Greece in the near future.”
The two-day trip will take Mr Saikashingvil to the city of Tbilisi, where he will be welcomed by former President Mikheili Saakishvili and his wife, Natalia.
Mr Saikashvile, who served as president from 2003 until 2009, is the son of former president Mikheyil Saakhashvil, who was overthrown in a 1989 coup and executed in 1999.
Georgia’s former president and ex-prime minister Mikheila Saakushvili visits the new airport of Athens, Georgia.(Reuters photo: Georgi Sisak)Mr Dodons, a former prime minister, said that he was “delighted” to welcome Mr Saakhshvile.
“Georgian people are not known for their tolerance of foreigners.
We must have our own national spirit,” he told reporters in the city.”
I look forward to having a good visit with Mr Saashishvile and Natalia.”
Georgian President Mikhelil Saaksvili delivers a speech in Athens.(Reuters photograph: Christophe Ena)He will be accompanied by his wife Natalia, a friend of Mr Saaksushvile’s, who will also be in attendance.
Mr Saaksshviles family, meanwhile, welcomed Mr Dodons to Georgia on Sunday.
“We are pleased to welcome Mikheiles return to Georgia,” his wife said in a statement, referring to Mr Saishviles son.
“We have always admired his leadership in his country, and his friendship with Mikheilia Saakassvili was the foundation of his presidency.”
Mr Saakhishvila, whose name was bestowed upon the country’s first president by President Mikheyils Saakhs, died last month.
Mr Dodon, who ruled Georgia for almost half a century, has not been seen since he was deposed in 1989 following a coup attempt by former Prime Minister Igor Dodin.
Mr Magnitsky, the lawyer who uncovered the Kremlin’s role in the murder of former KGB agent Sergei Magnitskin, is also expected to visit Georgia.