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Georgian President Saakashvili (file photo) 22 August 2005 -- The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Rene van der Linden, has urged Georgian authorities to maintain the momentum of reform so as to ensure that they meet all their obligations and commitments before Europe's human rights body.

In a statement released in Strasbourg today, van der Linden urges President Mikheil Saakashvili and his government to maintain an effective system of checks and balances, including a strong opposition, an independent judiciary, an active civil society, and free media.

Van der Linden says he made those recommendations when he met Georgian government officials in Tbilisi yesterday.

In Armenia last week, the PACE president urged dialogue among government, opposition and civil society.

Van der Linden today was in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, where he discussed the run-up to the November legislative polls with President Ilham Aliyev and opposition leaders.

(PACE statements/Civil Georgia)
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