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12 May, 2009 13:33

Georgian ex-leader calls on Saakashvili to step down

Former Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze describes the situation in Georgia as “catastrophic.” He is strongly urging the country's currently embattled president to resign.

Shevardnadze gained worldwide fame as Mikhail Gorbachev's Foreign Minister.

In his Tuesday interview, he told The Associated Press that the opposition, which is seeking the resignation of the country’s president, Mikhail Saakashvili, is very strong. The former president warned that events could spin out of control.

"The situation in Georgia at the moment is very tense, I would say, even catastrophic. The opposition is well organized and strong. We've never had such a powerful opposition in Georgia. Yesterday, the opposition met with the president but they agreed on nothing," said Eduard Shevardnadze as quoted by AP.

Shevardnadze recalls that he voluntarily stepped down in November 2003 to avoid bloodshed during massive public protests known as the Rose Revolution. The protests then propelled the US-allied Mikhail Saakashvili into power.