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    SAAKASHVILI PRAYS BEFORE MEETING WITH PUTIN

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    MOSCOW, February 11, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - This morning, President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia prayed at a Georgian church in Moscow for a successful meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

    "This morning we prayed in a Georgian church for the success of today's meeting," Mr. Saakashvili said.

    Mr. Saakashvili emphasized that he, "is very grateful for the invitation to visit Moscow."

    "I have wanted to come for a long time and I really wanted the first large political visit to be to Moscow," he stated.

    "All of Georgia is optimistically watching my arrival, your actions, and at the concrete steps that Russia makes toward Georgia," Mr. Saakashvili noted.

    "We constantly feel your hospitality, and the Georgians who live in Russia are also very grateful for the warmth and hospitality the Russian people give them," said the Georgian leader.

    According to him, attitude of Georgians to the Russian people and Vladimir Putin personally, "is very positive." "Georgians hope that all of the problems remain in the past," emphasized Mr. Saakashvili.

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