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    SAAKASHVILI-ABASHIDZE MEETING MAY LIFT BLOCKADE FROM ADZHARIA - NINO BURDZHANADZE

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    TBILISI, MARCH 17 (RIA NOVOSTI) - A meeting between Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Aslan Abashidze, leader of the Adzharian autonomy, may lift blockade from Adzharia, Nino Burdzhanadze, chairperson of the Georgian parliament, said at a briefing in Batumi late on March 17 on results of the long talks with Aslan Abashidze.

    "As regards the blockade I'm sure that, after a meeting between the Georgian president and Aslan Abashidze, many questions will be either settled or become clearer. The blockade will be no longer there," Nino Burdzhanadze said at the joint briefing with Aslan Abashidze. Burdzhanadze said that the Saakashvili-Abashidze meeting will take place in Batumi.

    The economic sanctions against the Adzharian leadership, intending blocking of the bank accounts of the Adzharian government, suspension of the banking activities in Adzharia, closure of the Batumi sea port, Batumi airport, Sarpi customs house on the Georgian-Turkish border were imposed by the Georgian government upon the March 15 decision of the Georgian president. The goal is to close the sources of financing for the Adzharian authorities refusing to obey the central administration of Georgia, rule out the possibility of bringing arms and armored vehicles to Adzharia.

    The starting point of this crisis was the incident near the Choloki river (the administrative border of Adzharia), when on March 14 a group of armed persons did not let Mikhail Saakashvili into the autonomy and blocked the presidential motorcade.

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