Shevardnadze, first president of Georgia, dies - WALB.com, Albany 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>>

  • US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    US, Europe impose tough new sanctions on Russia

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:53:08 GMT
    European Union ambassadors are meeting to discuss a dramatic toughening of the trade bloc's sanctions against Russia.More >>
    Spurred to action by the downing of the Malaysian airliner, the European Union approved dramatically tougher economic sanctions Tuesday against Russia, including an arms embargo and restrictions on state-owned banks....More >>
  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed

    Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; 128 killed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:33:28 GMT
    Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats pounded symbols of Hamas control in Gaza City in the heaviest night of bombardment in three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.More >>
    Israel unleashed its heaviest air and artillery assault of the Gaza war on Tuesday, destroying key symbols of Hamas control, shutting down the territory's only power plant and leaving at least 128 Palestinians dead on...More >>
  • Activists want gay rights on Africa summit agenda

    Activists want gay rights on Africa summit agenda

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:30 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:30:08 GMT
    By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer Human rights and gay rights activists on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at...More >>
    By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer Human rights and gay rights activists on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to ensure that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa is on the agenda at next...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.