Georgian President Considers Adzharian Leader To Be De Facto His Representative On Settling Abkhazian Conflict

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has said that "a decision to appoint head of Adzharian autonomous republic Aslan Abashidze as the Georgian president's personal representative for settling the Abkhazian conflict was verbal". At a news conference in Tbilisi, the president noted that considering his trustful personal relations with Abashidze the appointment needs no documentary confirmation. Speaking of functions included in the remit of the president's personal representative, Shevardnadze said that Abashidze would take part in all meetings and forums devoted to Abkhazian settlement. Georgia's position on this matter is recorded, and if "new elements are added to it, consultations on them will be held between the president and his personal representative," Shevardnadze said. At the same time, commenting on the results of election of the leader of another autonomous republic within Georgia - South Ossetia - President Shevardnadze indicated his firm resolve to cooperate with South Ossetia's new leader, although he did not rule out the probability of a run-off. In the course of last Sunday's election of head of South Ossetia, most of the votes were won by Eduard Kokoyev, a businessman from Moscow, and Stanislav Kochiyev, chairman of the South Ossetian parliament.

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