Georgian, Azerbaijani and Turkish leaders attend opening of new Tbilisi airport terminal
The new Tbilisi airport terminal has opened. The opening ceremony was attended by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. All three leaders spoke at the ceremony.
Mikheil Saakashvili recalled that in the 1990s time pilots landing planes in Georgia were not sure they that they were flying over Tbilisi because the whole city had been plunged in darkness, he added, however, that "today our country is home to one of the best and most modern airports in Europe."
The president said that given all the destruction and misfortune in Georgia's recent past, from now on nothing in Georgia would be done second-rate.
"Our highways, schools, hospitals and hotels will be the most modern in Europe. There is still much for us to do. It would be crazy to believe that a country could be built in such a short span, but in two years we have accomplished a lot towards that end. This year modern roads will be built to all district centres and outdoor lighting will be installed in all towns. Next year the majority of hospitals that are either planned or under construction will be built. This year schools in almost all district centres will be renovated. This year many things once thought impossible will become reality," Saakashvili said.
The Georgian president said that over the past three years the birth rate in Georgia has been on the rise and, in a reference to the birth of his son Nikoloz in December 2005, noted that he himself had contributed to this rising figure. He also called on Georgians living abroad to return home. The country needs all kinds of specialists to take part in the building process, he said.
"Last year tens of thousands of Georgians returned home. I want to tell them that they have returned to a Georgia that needs specialists in all fields. We have extremely talented people but we need many more. Dozens of new processing facilities are being opened here, but we lack the necessary specialists. These Georgian specialists are scattered throughout the world. Georgia is on the path to success and we must reach the end of this path. When you arrive at this airport, do not be surprised that this is Tbilisi. This is Georgia, this is our country. We take pride in our country and in its future," President Saakashvili said.
of the President of Georgia