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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May 2005, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Key extracts: Bush and Saakashvili
George W Bush and Mikhail Saakashvili
President George W Bush has met Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili in the country's capital, Tbilisi.

The two men held a news conference amid the first visit by a US president to the ex-Soviet republic, where Mr Saakashvili lead a popular uprising in 2003 - known as the Rose revolution - to depose former President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Here are some of their comments:

US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH

Over time, any country will recognise the benefits of democracy on her border and I'm confident Russia will recognise the benefits of having democracies on her border, and Georgia is a great example of a peaceful democracy that wants to resolve whatever lingering disputes there may be in a peaceful fashion.

The Rose revolution was a powerful moment in modern history
President George W Bush
And it's this democratic movement that took place here in Georgia that is going to help transform the greater Middle East.

That's important for people in Georgia and around the world to understand - that democracies in the greater Middle East will make the world a more peaceful place.

A democracy in Iraq will send such a strong and vivid example to others about what is possible.

What I find on [President Saakashvili's] mind is very refreshing. He loves democracy and loves freedom. He loves the people of Georgia.

The Rose revolution was a powerful moment in modern history. It not only inspired the people of Georgia; it inspired others around the world that want to live in a free society.

I think people will look back at this moment in history and marvel at the courage of people who have said 'I want generations to grow up in a hopeful world', and so, Mr President, thank you for setting such a good example, you and your people.

PRESIDENT MIKHAIL SAAKASHVILI

[We] appreciate the US support for our Nato aspirations, just like [the] US supported Ukraine on its Nato aspirations.

The United States supports the territorial integrity of Georgia, sovereignty of Georgia, within its internationally recognised boundaries.

We appreciate this support and recognise our responsibilities. We will peacefully resolve our disputes with our long-suffering South Ossetian and Abkhaz citizens and the territories.

We will widen and deepen our democratic reforms to better the lives of Georgians and we seek friendly relations with all our neighbours, and we know we can count on the support of the United States in all these vital tasks.

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See the welcome as George Bush arrives in Georgia



SEE ALSO
Bush praises Georgian democracy
10 May 05 |  Europe
Europe trip buoys Bush
09 May 05 |  Europe

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