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The Week in Brief

Thursday, May 8
The top Georgian official for conflict issues said Russia and Georgia are ‘very close’ to war. He was lobbying European capitals for support after Russia, accusing Georgia of plotting an attack, deployed more troops to breakaway Abkhazia.

Abkhaz separatist authorities claimed to shoot down two more unmanned Georgian spy planes. Tbilisi has previously confirmed only one lost drone, which they blame on a Russian fighter jet.

Two Georgian soldiers in Iraq were killed by a roadside bomb. They are Georgia’s first combat deaths since deploying to Iraq in 2003.

President Mikheil Saakashvili made a strong call for “exemplary parliamentary elections” while responding to allegations of ruling party campaign violations.

Adjara marked the fourth anniversary of the ouster of local strongman Aslan Abashidze. Returning the coastal region to state control was a major early victory for the Saakashvili administration.

Imedi TV, once the country’s pro-opposition leading channel, restarted broadcasts with an emasculated lineup of movies and dubbed South American soap operas. Its director says depleted staff, debts and damaged equipment will keep news programs off-air until next month. The delay, he insisted, has nothing to do with the May 21 parliamentary elections.

Eka Tkeshelashvili was made Georgia’s new foreign minister. The 30-year-old Tkeshelashvili, who was serving as prosecutor general, is the country’s youngest-ever foreign minister and the second woman to hold the post.