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    ABASHIDZE ASSURES SAAKASHVILI OF BATUMI'S ALLEGIANCE TO PEACEFUL DIALOGUE WITH TBILISI

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    MOSCOW, 14 March, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/. -Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze (Adzharia is an autonomous republic within Georgia) has sent a letter to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in which he assured the latter of Batumi's allegiance to development of a peaceful dialogue with Tbilisi.

    "I responsibly declare that the leadership of the Adzharian autonomous republic has always sought and will continue to seek further development of a peaceful dialogue which is the only means of settling our relations," reads the letter distributed at Abashidze's press conference in Moscow.

    In his letter, Abashidze assures the Georgian President that Adzharia will invariably honour its commitment to the principle of Georgia's territorial integrity.

    "I also request you to give due instructions and stop all the nonsensical actions of the so-called Adzharian opposition totally orchestrated from Tbilisi," the letter goes on.

    In Abashidze's opinion, these actions are of an extremely aggressive nature, antagonize people and exacerbate the situation.

    "We do not need events unfolding according to the so-called "Balkan scenario" which entailed the break-up of Yugoslavia, causing enormous casualties and suffering of the people," the letter says.

    Abashidze pointed out that Georgia and the nations living therein have already suffered a lot in recent years.

    He urged the international community to take urgent measures in order to maintain peace and attain civil accord in Georgia, which will help in preventing emergence of another "hot spot" on the world map.

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