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Georgian Defense Minister Moved To Another Post

Irakli Okruashvili (InterPressNews) TBILISI, November 11, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili has been moved to the post of economic development minister.

President Mikheil Saakashvili announced on November 10 that the move was part of a government reshuffle.

"Therefore, with a view to resist this, [the weakening of Georgia's economy] we have held extensive consultations with the prime minister and other government officials. Consequently, we decided to strengthen and consolidate the Economy Ministry, and to appoint one of the best organizers, managers, and ministers that we have in this country as its head -- Irakli Okruashvili," Saakashvili said.

Davit Kezerashvili, the head of the financial police, has been appointed defense minister. The outgoing economic development minister, Irakli Chogovadze, is appointed head of Georgia's Oil and Gas Corporation.

Okruashvili was considered one of the more hawkish cabinet members. Earlier this year he said he would resign if he was not in Tskhinvali, the regional capital of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region, by the end of the year.

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RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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