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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgian Emergency Set to End

TBILISI, Georgia -- The top U.S. emissary to Georgia said Tuesday that the country would lift a state of emergency this week.

Matthew Bryza, deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs, said the speaker of the Georgian parliament, Nino Burjanadze, had told him that the state of emergency would be lifted within days.

"It seems from my conversation with the speaker that the state of emergency will be lifted in two or three days. I think on the 16th," Bryza told reporters.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili imposed a state of emergency -- which bans independent media and public meetings -- after opposition street protests against his rule last week.

Late Monday, Saakashvili accused President Vladimir Putin of threatening to make permanent a split between Georgia and one of its breakaway regions, Abkhazia, on the Black Sea.

"President Putin bluntly told me that Russia would turn Abkhazia into a new Cyprus," Saakashvili said. "I want to tell Russia and all others: You won't split Georgia."

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is divided into a Greek Cypriot-controlled south and a Turkish-controlled north, which is not recognized internationally. Turkey sent troops to the island in 1974, after a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

Bryza said Tuesday that he "would be shocked, based on our own conversations with Moscow over the last few days" if there were plans to divide Georgia permanently along ethnic lines.

Reuters, AP