JAVAKHK (Civil Georgia)–Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili visited Akhalkalak on December 28–a predominately Armenian-populated town in southern Georgian region of Javakhk.
In meeting with the local population–President Saakashvili addressed the necessity of integration into Georgia.
"Our Armenian population [of Javakhk] is very patriotic–and requires more attention and care. Though you should be integrated–your language and your culture should also be preserved. I know that you face many problems–but we can solve them if we stand together," he said.
Saakashvili stressed that the construction on a new highway connecting Tbilisi with Akhalkalak would begin in the coming year–"We have already allocated funds for this project."
He also promised scholarships for students willing to continue their education in Tbilisi universities.