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Georgia's Saakashvili Willing To Meet With Putin

Saakashvili (left) and Putin meeting in August 2005 (ITAR-TASS) October 20, 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says he is willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the ongoing crisis between the two countries.

In comments to reporters late on October 19, Saakashvili said he is prepared to meet Putin "at any moment," suggesting that a meeting could take place under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States next month in Minsk.

Saakashvili also told reporters that he is proposing that the country's next presidential election be held in 2008, instead of a year later, to coincide with the parliamentary vote.

The constitution currently calls for the president to be elected every five years and the parliament every five. He said he would formally submit his initiative to parliament today.

(AP, Interfax)

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