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Saakashvili seeks EU backing for Georgia


brussels bureau

Saakashvili seeks EU backing for Georgia

Georgia awaits a new political era after Giorgi Margvelashvili won last weekend’s presidential elections. He takes over on November 17.

Outgoing head of state Mikhail Saakashvili has already packed up and left his presidential residence.

He used one of his last official visits to rally support from the EU for his country’s fledging democracy.

Saakashvili echoed Winston Churchill’s words, telling reporters in Brussels that he would “never never never give up on Europe”.

He took office in 2003, after the so-called Rose Revolution.

The outgoing Georgian president also discussed a planned trade pact with the EU, which is on the agenda at a forthcoming summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next month.

Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, said that “Georgia is stronger; more modern, and hopefully more democratic.”

“Lets now keep on working to make Georgia closer to the European Union,” he said.

Saakashvili has to stand down from his post after serving the maximum of two five-year terms as president.

Constitutional changes in 2012 handed more powers to the prime minister, shifting away from a presidential system to a parliamentary form of government.

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