By empty (2/18/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)Georgian National Security Council Secretary Tedo Djaparidze told Interfax on 18 February that Georgia intends to intercept and inspect vessels bound for Abkhaz ports in order to prevent trafficking in weapons and drugs. Abkhaz Deputy Defense Minister Gari Kupalba reacted to a similar statement by Georgian Border Guard Department official Korneli Salia last week. Kupalba warned that any attempt by Georgia to interfere with free navigation could lead to armed clashes at sea.
By empty (2/18/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)Addressing a Georgian government session on 15 February, State Security Minister Valeri Khaburzania claimed that Islamic militants who left Georgia\'s Pankisi Gorge last fall have taken refuge in regions of Abkhazia where they have joined forces with local criminals and pose a threat both to Georgia and the international community. Khaburzania claimed that some Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia who moved to Abkhazia have received Russian passports. Georgian National Security Council Secretary Djaparidze similarly said on 17 February that he cannot exclude the possibility that international terrorists, including members of Al-Qaeda, might have moved from Pankisi to Abkhazia.
By empty (2/14/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)Addressing the third Congress of Kazakh Financiers, President Nursultan Nazarbaev expressed satisfaction on 14 February that Kazakhstan\'s banking sector and financiers are acknowledged to be among the best in the CIS. At the same time, he ordered the government to \"rein in\" inflation and tasked the government and the National Bank with drafting a new concept for developing the financial sector over the next few years. He further complained that the stock market is not developing as fast as it should and that investors show little interest in it.
By empty (2/14/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)Opposition National Movement leader Mikhail Saakashvili told a government session on 14 February that President Shevardnadze should leave office and take his supporters with him. Saakashvili also criticized the alleged illegal sale of land in Tbilisi and corruption in the police force. He challenged the minister of education to explain how a credit for reforming the education system was spent, and branded regional governor Levan Mamaladze a \"bandit.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.