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    TBILISI TO SET UP CENTER FOR RESOLVING ADJAR PROBLEM

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    POTI, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Georgian authorities decided to set up a special anti-crisis center that will handle the problems surrounding Adzharia (an autonomous republic of Georgia). Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili made this announcement while addressing an extraordinary session of the Georgian Government in Poti (western Georgia). The situation in the autonomous republic was discussed at the session.

    "Our main task is the protection of democracy and human rights and the disarmament and neutralization of armed people in the territory of Adzharia. For this purpose, we are creating an anti-crisis center that will be located in Poti," the Georgian president said.

    The Novosti-Georgia information agency reported that Mikhail Saakashvili said Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania would head the anti-crisis center.

    "The center's work is focused on humanitarian activity connected with the protection of people and their rights and the collection of information about reprisals against the people in the autonomous republic," Mr. Saakashvili said.

    The Georgian president pointed out that the center would be charged with resolving the issues connected with checking any unsanctioned movements toward the autonomous republic or from Adzharia. To accomplish this goal, the Georgian frontier forces will take control of the port of Batumi from the sea. "These measures are being taken to prevent weapons and military equipment from being brought to Adzharia," Mr. Saakashvili said.

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