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March 24, 2004
Georgia Sinking Towards Civil War

No, I'm not talking about Zell Miller's endorsement of George Bush and his leadership of Democrats for Bush, although he's certainly making news today. The other Georgia -- the former Soviet 'republic' -- may be on the verge of civil war, after a breakaway region's leader had his passport revoked in response for barring Georgia's president from entering:

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has annulled the diplomatic passports of the leader of the breakaway region of Ajaria and 500 other officials. He also accused Ajaria's authorities of planning to bring in mercenaries to fight in a possible conflict.

The latest move is part of a continuing war of words between Tbilisi and Ajaria's leader, Aslan Abashidze. The two sides stood on the brink of war after Mr Saakashvili was denied entry into the region earlier this month.

Ajaria borders Turkey to its north, sharing the Black Sea shoreline, and not too far from the Kurdish areas that currently trouble the Turks. In short, this isn't a great time for the Georgians and the Ajarians to square off against each other. Georgia just threw off its previous regime, and the instability looks to continue for some time.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 24, 2004 9:04 PM

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