George W. Bush congratulated the people of the Georgia

President George W. Bush congratulated the people of the Georgia on the second anniversary of the "Rose Revolution" that completed "the journey to independence first begun in 1989 during the last days of the Soviet empire."

Since then, Bush said, "the Georgian people have continued their contributions to freedom's cause and made significant progress in building a vibrant democracy." Bush's comments were in a commemorative message issued at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he and first lady Laura Bush are spending the American Thanksgiving feast day weekend.

In November 2003, more than 100,000 people flooded the streets of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, to protest fraudulent parliamentary elections. The protests eventually forced President Eduard Shevardnadze, the last foreign minister of the Soviet Union, to resign.

Mikhail Saakashvili, who left his lawyer's practice in New York to lead the uprising in his home country, was elected president soon after and turned Georgia's policies toward the West, AP reports.

A. A.

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