YEREVAN (A.W.)—From June 24-25, Georgian President Mikheil Saakhashvili visited Armenia and was awarded a medal from the Armenian government.
ARF Bureau political affairs director Giro Manoyan said in response that Saakhashvili had done nothing to benefit Javakhk, the Armenian region in George, and did not deserve the honor. The goal of Georgia’s former and current authorities, he said, has been quite the opposite—to change the demography of Javakhk.
While Saakhashvili recently announced that there has been an increase in investments in Javakhk over the past few years, Manoyan noted that a large number of employees have come from other regions, despite the fact that population of Javakhk is in need of employment. “Our main concern should be to convince the Georgian authorities that Javakhk should be the strongest bond of maintaining good neighboring relations between Armenia and Georgia,” said Manoyan. “However, today, this is the loosest bond.”
Dozens of protesters gathered near the Armenia Marriott Hotel on June 25 to protest Saakhashvili’s policies towards Javakhk.
Yerevan police, however, pushed the protesters out of Republic Square and onto North Avenue. Many eyewitnesses reported seeing the protesters dragged away by police, who wanted to clear the entrance to the hotel where Saakhashvili was staying.
Regarding the clashes, Manoyan said that the Georgian president had been careful not to meet with any of the protesters during his visit.