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Georgian President: Force Could Be Used In Adjaria

24 April 2004 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today warned that he will not hesitate to resort to force to stop his country from falling apart after the autonomous republic of Adjaria reintroduced a state of emergency and a curfew for fear of military intervention from the central government.

Addressing a military parade in Tbilisi, Saakashvili said he still favors of a peaceful resolution of the standoff with Adjaria. But he added that Georgia should stand ready to use weapons to preserve its territorial integrity.

Although Adjaria has never said that it wants to secede from Georgia, tension has been running high between the autonomous republic and the Georgian government since the change of leadership that occured in Tbilisi last November.

Saakashvili has vowed to rein in the unruly Adjar leadership which it accuses of various crimes.

(Prime News/Reuters/ITAR-TASS)