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U.S. Official Warns Georgia Over War, Authoritarianism

U.S. Asssistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried (file photo) (official site) April 8, 2006 -- Georgian media today report that the United States is warning President Mikheil Saakashvili over attempts at forcibly restoring his country's territorial integrity and drifting toward authoritarianism.

In remarks made to Georgian and other foreign reporters in Washington on April 7, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried cautioned Georgia against giving a "military response" to its separatist disputes with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Regarding domestic political developments, Fried said that "certain progress" had been made since the change of political leadership in 2003. He said progress must continue so that Georgia's civil society strengthens and its economy develops. He also said the Georgian state must become "functional, but not authoritarian."

The Georgian opposition last week decided to boycott parliament to protest at what it says is Saakashvili's antidemocratic policies.

(Civil Georgia, Prime News)

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