YEREVAN (YERKIR)–Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili visited Georgia’s Javakhk region on Wednesday to meet with the predominately ethnic Armenian population and administration–reported Regnum.
He told reporters and residents that the government would ensure the employment of locals after the closure of the Russian military base there.
Fearing further economic hardship in an already neglected and suffering region–the population of Javakhk has opposed the closure of the Russian base–which employs a majority of residents. The pull-out follows a May 30 agreement between Georgia and Russia to remove the base by 2008.
Saakashvili emphasized that in an effort to help–his government would procure agricultural products from the region for the Georgian Army.
He also noted that ten people from the area would be enrolled in the State Administration School–enabling them to return to the region and work for local government.