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Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili will be the keynote speaker today at an international conference on "Transit Global Energy and Political Trends" at the University of Haifa. The Georgian president is arriving in Israel especially to participate in the event, which will also see the launching of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies at the university.

The University of Haifa will also confer an honorary doctorate on Saakashvili for his role in instilling democracy in the former Soviet republic. Saakashvili, 39, was elected president of Georgia in 2004, after heading the non-violent "Rose Revolution" that led to the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze.