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New Georgian Defense Minister Appointed

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has appointed Levan Izoria as the country's new defense minister.

Kvirikashvili announced on August 1 that Izoria would replace Tinatin Khidasheli, who resigned last week ahead of the October 8 parliamentary elections.

Kvirikashvili also said that Ketevan Tsikhelashvili would become the state minister for reconciliation and civic equality, replacing Paata Zakareishvili, who also resigned in order to take part in the elections.

Khidasheli and Zakareishvili are members of the Republican Party, which had been a part of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition but which is dropping out of the grouping to run on its own in the parliamentary elections.

Izoria said after his appointment that his top priority will be "the continuation of Georgia's path toward Euro-Atlantic integration."

Izoria had previously worked as deputy interior minister and head of the Georgian Police Academy.

Environment Minister Gigla Agulashvili decided to leave the Republican Party and therefore has been allowed to continue in the Georgian Dream coalition government.

Based on reporting by Interfax and Civil Georgia

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