ABASHIDZE TO LIFT STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ADZHARIA DURING ELECTIONS

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TBILISI, March 27, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Marina Kvaratskhelia) - Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze decided to temporarily lift the state of emergency in Adzharia during the parliamentary elections in Georgia on March 28.

The state of emergency will be resumed on March 29, Mr. Abashidze told the Adzharian TV.

"The situation in the autonomy will be aggravated on Monday and Tuesday. I informed US ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Georgia Richard Miles about it in Batumi on Friday," he said.

"The Georgian leadership does not conceal that it enjoyed the support of the West, in particular, the United States and ambassador Miles, during the November 2003 events when President Eduard Shevardnadze was dismissed. I told Mr. Miles that if the same events happened in Adzharia, he would be responsible for them," Aslan Abashidze said.

The state of emergency was introduced in Adzharia on November 24, 2003. Since then it was lifted only once, during the elections of the Georgian President on January 4, 2004.

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