Wednesday, July 07, 2004

: "Georgia leader to visit Iran


TBILISI, July 6 (AFP) - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili was to start a three-day visit to Iran Tuesday during which he will meet with top officials including the Islamic republic's foreign minister, it was announced here.

Sakhaashvili, a US-educated lawyer who was elected early this year after orchstrating the peaceful overthrow of his veteran predecessor Eduard Shevardnadze, has forged close ties with the United States.

Former Soviet Georgia is on the route of a US-backed oil pipeline to export crude from the landlocked Caspian Sea, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), which will bypass both Iran and Russia."

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