Mikehil Saakashvili: "Richard Holbrook played a critical role in rescuing Georgia's statehood and Tbilisi"
You all know that Richard Holbrook passed away and I want everyone to understand what kind of friend has Georgia lost. In 2006 he forecasted Georgia-Russian war and he was warning the West about this in a loud voice. He didn't possess any official post at that moment, though he was a giant of XX and XXI century's diplomacy. I remember well that in 2007, when we had no information yet, Richard Holbrooke made a public statement and said that Russian special services stood behind one part of anti-governmental demonstrations organizers in Georgia. He loudly stated that he had no doubt regarding this fact. I want to repeat that we had no information regarding this matters. Today it became clearer what type of meetings were held in Minsk, what type of contacts Patarkatsishvili had. Holbrooke was the first who started speaking about this all. In 2008, it seemed that Russia had everything ready (due to the plan that was prepared - Georgia attacked Russia and Russia was defending itself and its own citizens), when people left for the Olympics and no one had time for us - Richard Holbrooke came to Georgia as soon as war begun. I do not even know how he managed to come to Georgia, which flight did he take. No one paid him money and we haven't asked him to come either. His name was too big for the world press, for the world diplomacy, especially for some left-wing elements of Democratic Party, who believed that because we were friends with George Bush this was a reason not to support Georgia that much. Richard Holbrooke was the most brilliant star of Democratic Party in foreign policy sphere. This is why his visit, together with the support of Republican Administration was more important in that period than the support of whole administration. I remember he came to Tbilisi and checked in Hotel Koppala that was under the permanent threat of bombardment. He personally communicated with every TV Company and was frequently on air. This man played important role in rescuing Georgia's statehood and Tbilisi. I communicated with him permanently during last several weeks. I spoke with him several times during these recent days and he was actively involved in Georgian issues. It is true that it is big loss for us to loose a person like Richard Holbrooke, but his existence was very important, because America is a country where idealists like him are born permanently - idealist who believe in their ideals and in job they are performing, idealists who are ready to fight for the freedom and happiness of foreign countries. Richard Holbrooke was neither my cousin nor my classmate - I met him while serving for strengthening and rescuing Georgia's freedom. During one of the last meeting he told me: "The most important thing you did is that your had rescued Georgia's statehood". In 2008 after the war (unfortunately this war is not over yet), he told me: "If someone will ask and say that Georgia was saved economically - it means that your statehood is saved and everything will come back to you". Due to my experience none of his prognoses were mistaken.
It is vital to save our statehood at this stage and return of our territories will follow it. Richard Holbrooke knew it very well and our enemy knows it very well.