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Mourners Bid Farewell to the Last Soviet Foreign Minister

Published: July 14, 2014 (Issue # 1819)



  • Honor guards stand around the coffin of the deceased former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze during a farewell ceremony at the Holy Trinity Church in Tbilisi, Georgia on Saturday.
    Photo: Shakh Aivazov / AP

More than 30 delegations from different countries attended the funeral on Sunday of Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet Union's last foreign minister, who later served as Georgian president.

"The world needs leaders like Shevardnadze, leaders who see the future," former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker said at the funeral, according to Interfax. "He was my friend, and we did a lot for the world."

Shevardnadze died last week at the age of 86 following a long-term illness.

Having served as foreign minister under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Shevardnadze is recognized for having contributed to the inception of the liberalizing policies of glasnost and perestroika, and for having helped end the Cold War.

Despite a mixed legacy in his native Georgia, Shevardnadze's presidency is remembered for having strengthened Georgia's ties to the West.

The current Georgian leadership, former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former Estonian President Arnold RЯЯtel, and former Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva were among those in attendance at the funeral in Tbilisi's Holy Trinity Cathedral, according to Interfax.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was unable to travel to the funeral due to the weakened state of his health.

Ilia II of Georgia, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, was also unable to attend the funeral because he was receiving medical treatment in Germany. A letter written by the spiritual leader was read out loud at the ceremony, Interfax reported.

Following the service, Shevardnadze's coffin was moved to his family's property in Tbilisi, where he was buried with military honors besides his wife Nanuli, who died in 2004.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Tuesday, Oct. 21


The Environment, Health and Safety Committee of AmCham convenes this morning at 9 a.m. in the organization’s office.


Take the opportunity to pick the brains of Dmitry V. Krivenok, the deputy director of the Economic Development Agency of the Leningrad region, and Mikhail D. Sergeev, the head of the Investment Projects Department, during the meeting with them this morning hosted by SPIBA. RSVP for the event by emailing office@spiba.ru before Oct. 17 if you wish to attend.


Improve your English at Interactive English, the British Book Center’s series of lessons on vocabulary and grammar in an informal atmosphere. Starting at 6 p.m., each month draws attention to different topics in English, with the topic for this month’s lessons being “visual arts.”



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