O 271457Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2114
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
UNCLAS TBILISI 001628
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PGOV PREL GG SUBJECT: GEORGIAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE REPLACED
1. (U) On August 27, President Saakashvili removed Defense Minister Davit Sikharulidze from his position. Saakashvili named Deputy Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia the new Minister of Defense. Sikharulidze, also the former Georgian Ambassador to the U.S., reportedly will remain in the government, perhaps as an advisor to the President.