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Georgia: Shevardnadze, U.S. Business Leaders To Meet, Discuss Reforms

Washington, 17 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze is due to meet with a group of about 50 American business leaders in Washington today to start a five-day visit to the U.S.

Shevardnadze is expected to discuss Georgia's economic reform progress and the prospects for foreign business and investment. The gathering is sponsored by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which provides insurance and financing for American investors abroad.

The Georgian president is also scheduled to meet today with U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen and with the leadership of the House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations.

Shevardnadze's spokesman said before leaving Tbilisi that the president is carrying some new ideas for a stepped-up role for the United Nations in settling the conflict over the separatist province of Abkhazia. Shevardnadze is expected discuss those ideas with U.S. officials today, with President Bill Clinton in a White House meeting tomorrow, and with U.N. officials in New York next Monday.