President of Georgia: The Pankisi problem no longer exists

Georgia intends to agree with Russian on the protection of the Russian-Georgian border so that the problem of the Pankisi Gorge (home to Chechen terrorists where they have rest and undergo military training) does not surface any more. This is what Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has said this Monday at a news conference in Tbilisi.

According to Shevardnadze, today the above issue is the principal one.

Simultaneously, the President of Georgia asserted that "the Pankisi problem no longer existed."

Commenting on the statements by Georgia's ex-defence minister Tengiz Kitovani to the effect that about 60 rebels were going to spend the winter in the Pankisi Gorge, Shevardnadze said that "he has never believed and will never believe Kitovani's pronouncements."

According to the Georgian President, the statements by the Georgian former defence minister are the result Kitovani's "own fantasies."

"I know exactly how many rebels are in the Pankisi Gorge - there are several of them there and they will be soon caught or destroyed," Shevardnadze said.

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