Mikheil Saakashvili Responds to Death of John McCain

Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili had a close relationship with six-term US Senator John McCain, who passed away Saturday after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in the summer of 2017.

Saakashvili posted a video, in which he said his favorite memory of McCain, whom he called “my dear friend,” was on a 2006 trip to Georgia, where “he went to visit a separatist enclave and they shot a grenade launcher at his helicopter there, and it didn’t deter from continuing to remote mountains in Svaneti where we met [with the] local population and listened to folk music then we flew all the way to the Black Sea where he jet skied in a very, very stormy sea for almost an hour, and then we sat in [a] Ferris wheel, 3 am, in Batumi, Black Sea coast, and there he told me the story of his dreams…he would have favored to live in the 20s and 30s of the 20th century, to be in Paris together with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemmingway…and I hope that now he made it there, he met…all the other characters, he is already with them in that paradise, in his paradise. Let him rest in peace.”

In a Georgian language companion video, Saakashvili said, “John McCain was Georgia’s biggest friend ever in the West and in the world. McCain was one of the best friends I ever had in my life. This is an incredible loss for Georgia and a very heavy loss for the world. I think we should all pay tribute to his memory and remember that he was not only an American hero, but a national hero of Georgia. Why was he a national hero of Georgia? Because he had always stood beside us when we needed it. There are very few similar examples in our history. For all of us, it was a great honor to live in his era. We must continue his efforts and lead Georgia to victory; we should unite and free our country. John McCain believed in better and safe future of Georgia and we will achieve this together.”

Saakashvili also shared two videos, originally posted by Maiko Javakhishvili, on his Facebook account showcasing the McCain’s commitment to Georgia.

In a separate post, he wrote “I urge [President] Giorgi Margvelashvili to fly the flag at the president's palace at half mast, as is required by the tradition of remembrance, in honor of the memory of Georgian national hero John McCain.”

During McCain’s visit to Georgia in 2008, Saakashvili granted him the title of national hero.

The statesman from Arizona was 81 years old.


By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Mikheil Saakashvili, Facebook

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27 August 2018 10:32