( Civil ) - Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli, who has been paying an official visit to the United States since April 9, will undergo a heart operation at the Cleveland Clinic in Houston apparently on April 19, Head of the State Chancellery Petre Mamradze said on April 17.
The prime minister underwent a medical examination and was advised to have the procedure. "Although there was no immediate need for the operation, Zurab Nogaideli decided to undergo it, rather than to postpone it," Mamradze said.
In Nogaideli's absence government sessions will be chaired by President Saakashvili. His other duties will be performed by Vice-Premier Giorgi Baramidze.
Mamradze, in an interview with Imedi television, dismissed recent media speculation that Nogaideli might be removed from his post.