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Georgian president vows to join NATO if reelected
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20:09, December 28, 2007

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Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili pledged to join NATO and peacefully restore the Georgian territorial integrity if reelected, Russian news agencies reported on Friday.

"In case I am elected president for another term, Georgia will become a NATO member during my second term of office," Mikhail Saakashvili, who will run for a second term of office at an early presidential election on Jan. 5, told Rustavi-2 TV channel late on Thursday.

He also said that his country will also "move closer to the European Union."

"The territorial integrity of the country will be restored in a peaceful way and the process of Georgian reunification will be completed," Saakashvili said referring to breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"After my second term of office expires I will hand over a united country to the next president of Georgia," he said.

Georgia has been pursuing NATO membership since late 1990s and its officials have numerously stated they expect to get the status of a candidate for NATO membership in 2008, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Source: Xinhua

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