(Tbilisi, January 21, Civil Georgia) – President Shevardnadze stated in his traditional Monday radio broadcast that the Georgian armed troops would not leave Kodori gorge.
On January 17 Georgian Special Affairs Minister signed a protocol with the Abkhazian side, which caused fears in Georgian politicians that, the Georgian army units would leave Kodori, the only territory in breakaway Abkhazia controlled by the Georgian government.
“It is strange that the signed protocol was perceived as Georgia’s stipulation to withdraw army from Kodori gorge,” Eduard Shevardnadze stated on January 21.
Georgian police and internal troops, subordinated to the Internal Affairs Ministry always were deployed in Kodori. Dispatching of Defense Ministry’s units to the gorge caused Abkhazians and UN Secretary General’s representative Dieter Boden’s concern, President announced.
It seems that that Georgian Defense Ministry’s army units will leave the gorge and internal troops remain to protect local Georgian population.
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