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    GEORGIAN PRESIDENT ELECT SWEARS TO RESTORE GEORGIA'S INTEGRITY

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    TBILISI, January 24, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. Georgia's elect President Mikhail Saakashvili received blessing of Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and took an oath on the tomb of King David the Builder in the Gelati monastery.

    "You are entrusted with Georgia with its great hardships and problems. Georgia expects reunification from you and we are sure that you will do it with God being your helper," Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II said in his blessing speech.

    After the blessing Mikhail Saakashvili headed for the tomb of King David the Builder accompanied by the clergy and with bells tolling. The President took the oath to Georgia and its people on the tomb.

    "Today Georgia is split and humiliated. We should unite to restore Georgia's territorial integrity. Georgia has existed and will exist. Georgia will become a united strong country," Mikhail Saakashvili said on the tomb of his glorious ancestor.

    Up to 10,000 believers and people wishing to see the ceremony gathered by the monastery. Georgian acting President and cabinet members attended the ceremony.

    There were many people in national dresses at the ceremony. The President himself and his wife were dressed in the European style, which will be preserved during the official inauguration ceremony on January 25.

    Mikhail Saakashvili and his family came to the Gelati monastery and left it by a helicopter of the Georgian border troops.

    The official inauguration ceremony of the new Georgian President will take place on Sunday, January 25.

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