Duma Speaker suggests solution for Pankisi problem

Speaker of the State Duma Gennady Seleznyov believes that deputies of theGeorgian parliament should address Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadzesuggesting the immediate creation of a joint Russian-Georgian task forcefor discussing fighting terrorists in the Pankisi gorge. As Seleznyovstated in a conversation with journalists today, representatives of Russianand Georgian special agencies could enter this force.Seleznyov reported that this morning, he had talked to Speaker of theGeorgian parliament Nino Burdzhanadze over the telephone. According toSeleznyov, members of the Georgian parliament are in dismay regardingyesterday's statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin on problems ofRussian-Georgian relations. Seleznyov also reported that Burdzhanadze hadsuggested holding a meeting of Russian and Georgian parliamentarians fordiscussing the situation on the border. "I said that we were not againstsuch meeting; representatives of our foreign affairs and defense committeeswere ready to participate in it, but it is important for us to see how theGeorgian parliament will act and if it will make panicky statements thatRussia is declaring war on Georgia", Seleznyov pointed out. According tohim, this has been the current reaction of Georgian parliamentarians sofar..

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