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Ousted Georgian Leader Offered UN Advisory Post

Shevardnadze: Bound for NYC? 17 April 2004 -- Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze has reportedly been offered the post of adviser to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, angering political opponents who helped to oust Shevardnadze in a nonviolent uprising in November.

Local media say the proposal was made yesterday by UN Assistant Secretary-General Kul Chandra Gautam during talks with Shevardnadze in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

Part of the meeting was broadcast on Georgia's private Imedi television. Shevardnadze reportedly accepted the offer.

A leader of Georgia's ruling National Movement, Zviad Dzidziguri, criticized Annan's reported initiative, saying Shevardnadze's becoming a UN adviser would undermine the reputation of the world organization.

The National Movement spearheaded the street protests that forced Shevardnadze to step down, making way for an overwhelming victory for that party in January elections.

(Prime News/Civil Georgia/Novosti Gruziya)