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    GEORGIAN PRESIDENT RULES OUT USE OF FORCE AGAINST ADZHARIA

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    POTI, March 15, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili rules out the use of force to assume control over Adzharia. "I am not going to order troops in Adzharia and think that the use of military force is inadmissible," the president said on Monday at an extraordinary session of the Georgian government in Poti, Western Georgia, which discussed the situation in the autonomous republic.

    The Georgian president thinks the actions of the Adzharian leaders "are directed at preventing the March 28 elections to the Georgian parliament in the republic or at total falsification of their results."

    "The current leadership of Adzharia is doing everything possible to prevent extraordinary democratic elections of the local administration," Mr. Saakashvili said commenting on the situation in the republic. According to him, the Adzharian authorities dispel opposition actions and arrest dissenters, in gross violation of democratic norms.

    In view of the tense situation in the republic, the Georgian authorities decided to create a Crisis Management Centre that will deal with the problem, said the President. It will be chaired by Georgian Premier Zurab Zhvaniya. "The main task of the centre will be humanitarian efforts to protect people and their rights," said Mr. Saakashvili.

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