US, Canada saddened at death of Georgia’s Zhvania

US, Canada saddened at death of Georgia’s Zhvania

Agence France Presse
February 3, 2005

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States and Canada expressed “sadness” at
the death of Georgian prime minister Zurab Zhvania, 41, seen as the
driving force behind market reforms in the restive former Soviet republic.

The United States expressed “our sadness and condolences to the family
of Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania of Georgia,” said State Department
deputy spokesman Adam Ereli.

He said Washington was “deeply saddened” by the death, and that
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (news – web sites) had called
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to extend condolences to the
government, to Zhvania’s family and to the people of Georgia.

“Prime minister Zhvania was a catalyst for democratic change in Georgia.
He was a dynamic leader, and he was a friend of the United States,”
Ereli added.

In Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minster Pierre Pettigrew said: “It was with a
great sense of sadness that I learned earlier today of the death of
Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.

“His commitment to Georgia and its people has long been recognized. Mr.
Zhvania’s contributions to the peaceful transfer of power in 2004 and
his help in advancing relations with Georgia’s regions have enhanced
stability in Georgia and the entire region.”

Zhvania died early Thursday in an apartment on the outskirts of Tbilisi
apparently after breathing toxic fumes leaked by a faulty heater,
officials said, ruling out foul play.