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Sailors set free. Thanks to Saakashvili?2012-01-11 16:08
Georgia is celebrating with great joy the release of 15 sailors from terrible Somalia captivity that lasted for one year and a half. Alas, the event is darkened by the realization that the authorities have been too slow solving the matter and risking lives of compatriots in their efforts to make the ransom price lower. As a result, the life of a Georgian sailor costs less than 200 thousand dollars, not USD 1 mln as was requested initially. Having paid the ransom, Mikheil Saakashvili reaps the laurels of a liberator.
Relatives of the captured sailors can't believe their happiness. Their husbands, fathers and sons are coming back from Somali. Long 16 months of uncertainty, fear and fruitless demonstrations near governmental buildings are over. It was most difficult to survive last autumn when families had no news from Somali.
"At that time there was no communication with them, we could not get in touch with our men and did not know what was happening to them", - Sergo Devadze, expecting the return of his son, said. - Last summer the talks were interrupted, and the pirates started starving the sailors and refused to give water to them. Yet, they were in touch, and a doctor from Batumi was giving advice to our boys how to use medicines on the ship. Autumn was a terrible time: we didn't know anything, and the pirates refused to keep contact".
Now bad things are almost forgotten. No reproach of the president is heard. On the contrary, Mikheil Saakashvili is treated as a liberating hero who, as it turns out, personally controlled the negotiating process from the day when OLIB G ship was captured on September 8, 2010. "There was not a day when I did not think about it. We were very nervous because we reached a dead end several times. We never despaired though. We were severely criticized, also by family members, and it's clear why: we could not tell them what we were doing, otherwise all attempts could have failed", - Saakashvili stated today. Captain Memed Zakaradze, worn out by imprisonment, already thanked the president over the phone. He said he feels as If he was reborn. Thanks to Saakashvili?