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U.S. Intelligence Chief: Georgia’s North Caucasus Efforts Contribute to Tensions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Feb.'11 / 21:23

U.S. Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said that along with Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia’s public efforts to reach out Russia’s North Caucasus republics contribute to the tensions in the region.

“Moscow's continued military presence in and political-economic ties to Georgia's separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, combined with Georgia's dissatisfaction with the status quo, account for some of the tensions. Georgia's public efforts to engage with various ethnic groups in the Russian North Caucasus have also contributed to these tensions,” Clapper said in an annual worldwide threat assessment hearing at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on February 16.

On Georgia’s domestic politics, Clapper said in the testimony, that although president Saakashvili “has not indicated his future plans but the option is avaialable for him under the new Consitution to serve as Prime Minister”, whose office will be strengthened after the new Constitution goes into force following the presidential elections in late 2013.

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