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    ABASHIDZE DENIES REPORTS THAT SAAKASHVILI WAS BARRED FROM ENTERING ADZHARIA

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    MOSCOW, 14 March, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent). - Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze said reports that Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili had been barred from entering Adzharia were a lie.

    The reports that the Georgian President was barred from entering Adzharia Sunday morning are nothing but a brazen lie, the head of the Adzharian autonomous republic told a press conference held in Moscow on Sunday.

    "A crowd carrying megaphones came up to a post at the administrative border on Sunday morning. They claimed that Georgia's President was among them, but that was certainly not so," Abashidze said.

    "The President of Georgia is now in Poti where all Georgia's armed forces are being currently concentrated," Abashidze told journalists. He confirmed that the Georgian authorities had closed the country's air space in order to prevent his return to Adzharia.

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