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IRI President is Member of U.S. Delegation to Georgian Prime Minister's Funeral

February 4, 2005

Washington, DC – Lorne W. Craner, President of IRI, has been asked by the White House to be a member of the official U.S. delegation traveling to the Republic of Georgia for the funeral of Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania.  U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Dick Lugar and Millennium Challenge Corporation Chief Executive Officer Paul Applegarth are also members of the delegation that will depart Friday night.

"I am honored to represent the United States and the President at Prime Minister Zhvania's funeral," said Craner.  "He was a giant in bringing democracy to Georgia in 2003 and continued to work in the years since in strengthening democratic institutions in the country.  We mourn this loss with his family and the Georgian people."

IRI has been active in Georgia since opening an office in Tbilisi in 1998.  IRI has worked with Georgians on political party development, polling projects, youth party building and strengthening women's political participation.  These ambitious training efforts have strengthened grassroots political organizations and further developed campaign skills for democratic activists.

Prime Minister Zhvania's funeral will be held on February 6.