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Georgian Premier Accepts Minister's Resignation --> Irakli Okruashvili, Georgia's former defense minister (file photo) (InterPressNews) November 18, 2006 -- Georgia's Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli accepted the resignation of Economic Development Minister Irakli Okruashvili.

Nogaideli relieved Okruashvili of his post on November 18, a day after Okruashvili tendered his resignation.

President Mikheil Saakashvili had moved Okruashvili from the Defense Ministry to the economic post just a week earlier.

Before that, Okruashvili had vowed to celebrate the New Year in the Russian-backed separatist region of South Ossetia's capital, Tskhinvali.

His comment was viewed by separatists as saber-rattling, while Georgian officials tried to write it off as an overly emotional attachment to the town, where he was born.

The presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on November 17 set out a number of conditions that need to be met before they are willing to resume negotiations with Tbilisi.

One of the conditions set by Abkhazia's leader, Sergei Bagapsh, is that Georgia must withdraw its forces and administrators from a portion of Abkhazia over which the central government regained control earlier this year.


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