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STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 May.'09 / 19:07

Tbilisi, May 6, 2009

Today, President Saakashvili met with the General Staff and senior Defense Ministry officials to review the developments of recent days. The President thanked the leadership of the armed forces for their calm, orderly response to yesterday's incident at the Mukhrovani base, and for following Constitutional and democratic protocols. The General Staff confirmed to the President that the country's military is operating normally and that the Mukhrovani incident was an isolated one.

The President stressed that the Government would not speculate on the details of the incident and would instead allow the legal system to fully investigate what transpired. He emphasized that the incident must not be used for political or other purposes.

The President compared the present incident with the Mukhrovani mutiny of 2001, when a different military unit stationed in Mukhrovani refused to accept orders from the Government. But the President also noted the significant differences between the incidents.

In 2001, the mutiny was initiated by active officers, while yesterday's main conspirators were non-active former servicemen. In 2001, concessions were made to the mutineers; by contrast, the participants in yesterday's incident will be tried through normal judicial procedures according (as appropriate) to military and civil law. 

Finally, the President thanked the defense officials for their exceptional, professional preparations for the NATO exercises that began today in Georgia.

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