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President Tells Doctors of Difficult Decision to Use Force

President Saakashvili said it was ?unpleasant? and ?difficult? for him to order the dispersal of demonstrators on November 7, but it was necessary in order to prevent the country returning ?to the chaos and civil confrontation? of the early 1990s.

The president was speaking at a meeting with a group of doctors on November 14. It was the second such televised meeting he has had with various professional groups since he called for early presidential polls. On November 12 he spoke to a group of teachers. Both encounters were aired by the Georgian Public Broadcaster ? the only television station allowed to provide news coverage under the state of emergency.

?It is unpleasant when the state resorts to force against some of its citizens,? Saakashvili said. ?It was the most difficult decision. Every baton [wielded by a police officer during the break-up of the demonstrations] that struck a citizen was felt by me? But chaos and civil confrontation was the alternative to this [decision]. Georgia has already experienced that and it is my responsibility to ensure that this doesn’t happen again? It doesn’t matter who is President; the state should act this way.?

President Saakashvili, like in the previous meeting with teachers, again raised the issue of Russian involvement in Abkhazia. He said ?the threat is at our doorstep and [those threatening us] have one foot in the door already.?

He said there was, what he called, ?documented evidence? proving Georgian allegations of additional Russian military deployments in breakaway Abkhazia.

The president then spoke to the assembled doctors about healthcare issues.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian)


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