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U.S. Supports New Government In Georgia

U.S. Supports Stability, Sovereignty of Democratic Georgia

State Department on resignation of President Shevardnadze Nov. 23

The United States supports the stability and sovereignty of a democratic Georgia and stands ready to support the new government in holding free and fair parliamentary elections in the future, the U.S. Department of State said in a statement issued November 23 upon the resignation of President Shevardnadze.

Following is the text of the statement:

Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 23, 2003

President Shevardnadze's Resignation

The U.S. supports the stability and sovereignty of a democratic Georgia and is committed to helping the Georgian people emerge from this crisis.

The people of Georgia have heard the call of Mikheil Saakashvili and his colleagues in the opposition to move to a new stage in Georgian politics.

We look forward to working with Interim President Burjanadze in her effort to maintain the integrity of Georgia's democracy as she strives to ensure that this change in government follows the constitution. The United States and the international community stand ready to support the new government in holding free and fair parliamentary elections in the future as required by the Constitution.

Secretary Powell has called Interim President Burjanadze to offer our support and to encourage her and her colleagues to proceed in a manner consistent with Georgia's constitution.

We know that President Shevardnadze's decision was difficult, but that he made his decision in the best interests of the people of Georgia. President Shevardnadze has been a towering figure in Georgian history and a close friend of the United States. We have worked with him for more than three decades on a variety of key global issues.

Thanks to President Shevardnadze, Georgia emerged from a difficult period and civil war in the mid-1990's to become a valued member of the international community.

Because of his contributions, millions of people living in the former Soviet Union are free today to pursue their own dreams in states committed to political and economic reform.

Secretary Powell has spoken to President Shevardnadze and thanked him for his role in bringing this crisis to a peaceful resolution.

We continue to urge all Georgians to work together to find a way forward without recourse to violence.

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