Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies

Posted: Updated:
President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD) President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia is shown during a meeting with Secretary of Defense William Cohen, not shown, at the Pentagon in 1997. (Source: DOD)
  • InternationalMore>>

  • Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

    Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:22:56 GMT
    President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria is being scrutinized in Congress, where the expanded military campaign has broad support but faces skepticism after more...More >>
    American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces in the Middle East if President Barack Obama's current strategy fails, the nation's top military officer said Tuesday as Congress plunged into an...More >>
  • UN leader begins term during period of 'tumult'

    UN leader begins term during period of 'tumult'

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:12:21 GMT
    The new president of the U.N. General Assembly says the year ahead will be momentous for the United Nations as it marks its 70th anniversary. He says his priority will be to ensure agreement on new U.N. goals that...More >>
    Sam Kutesa began his first day as president of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday by describing the current year as "tumultuous" and the year ahead as "momentous" for the United Nations as it marks its 70th anniversary.More >>
  • Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

    Mexico airlifts tourists after Hurricane Odile

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:52:26 GMT
    A weakening Tropical Storm Odile pushed up Mexico's Baja California Peninsula early Tuesday, dumping heavy rains that could bring dangerous flash floods and mudslides but also a potential boon to the...More >>
    The Mexican government began airlifting the first of thousands of stranded tourists out of the hurricane-ravaged resort area of Los Cabos on Tuesday, as residents picked up the pieces of shattered, flooded homes.More >>
(RNN) – Eduard Shevardnadze, the first president of Georgia, died Monday.

The 86-year-old died after a long illness, his assistant reported to the Associated Press.

He became the Soviet Union's minister of foreign affairs in 1985 under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Shevardnadze was a reformer himself, according to the BBC. His tenure took place in a rapidly changing world, and he was able to oversee a transformation in Soviet foreign policy that led to withdrawal from Afghanistan and Central Europe and a reduction in nuclear weapons.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Shevardnadze became the first head of state of newly independent Georgia in 1992.

Shevardnadze was initially a popular leader, who helped guide his country through the chaos following the collapse of the USSR. However, the president was forced to resign after a November 2003 revolt over disputed election results, according to the BBC.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Powered by WorldNow