Georgian opposition and government start talks

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TBILISI, Nov 10 (Reuters) Georgian opposition leaders and the government met today for the first time since police violently crushed anti-government protests and President Mikhail Saakashvili declared a state of emergency earlier this week.

Patriarch Ilia II, head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, chaired the meeting at his residence in Tbilisi.

Saakashvili imposed the state of emergency on Wednesday, after police fired plastic bullets, water cannon and tear gas at anti-government protesters to drive them off the streets.

The government representative at the meeting was the speaker of the parliament, Nino Burjanadze. The main opposition leaders attended the meeting.

REUTERS SZ HS1624

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