French President Nicholas Sarkozy received a rock star’s welcome October 7 in Tbilisi, drawing wild applause when he announced, “when I am in Georgia and I know I am in Europe.”
Appearing before a large crowd at Tbilisi’s central Freedom Square, Sarkozy pledged support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, and took a thinly disguised jab at Russia, saying; “The Soviet Union is over and no sphere of influences policy can replace it.”
The Georgia visit marked Sarkozy’s last stop on a tour that took him around the Caucasus. In Yerevan, Sarkozy urged Armenians and Azerbaijanis to “take the risk of peace” and resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He also won Armenian hearts and minds by calling on Turkey to own up to the 1915 genocide of the Armenians.
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