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    MOSCOW, February 10, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has said he does not insist on an immediate withdrawal of Russia's military bases from Georgia.

    "We do not say 'Leave tomorrow,'" the Georgian president said as addressing the students and the faculty of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

    Yet, the president believes the Russian bases must pull out from Georgia.

    The Georgian leader proposed joint patrolling as an alternative form of military co-operation. "Let us launch joint patrolling, let your officers be based in Georgia," said President Saakashvili.

    "You should not worry about 30 American military experts /training Georgian troops/. Russia is also welcome to send its military experts to Georgia," said the president.

    When asked about Georgian-American relations in general, President Saakashvili said: "Georgia is not a battle field between Russia and the United States. Georgia is a country for Georgians and citizens of other ethnic origins." The president reiterated the statement the Georgian leaders had made to the US administration that Georgia would not allow the USA to deploy military bases on its soil.

    The Georgian leader is convinced that the "armed forces are not the main factor of foreign policy and are not a factor of foreign policy at all."

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