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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Wednesday, January 30

“Ramaz Klimiashvili: creating a state ministry for diaspora issues is just senseless!”

Akhali Taoba spoke with political analyst Ramaz Klimiashvili, who says the new State Minister for Diaspora Issues is a pointless creation.

No other country has a ministry like that, he claims.

“This will be a ministry with no function. President Mikheil Saakashvili wanted a minister for pensioners, so he invented that post. It should be said that Iulon Gagoshidze [the nominee for the post] is a great archeologist, but he himself admits he’s never been in touch with the diaspora. So, the agency is nonsense and I don’t know how they expect it to work,” Klimiashvili said.

“Sandra Roelofs and the parliamentary healthcare committee hosted a Ukrainian delegation”

First Lady Sandra Roelofs and the members of the parliamentary healthcare and social affairs committee met with a Ukrainian delegation on January 28, Rezonansi reports.

The Ukrainian delegation included leading legislative and executive officials, as well as representatives from the Orthodox Church.

Under discussion was Georgia’s experience in palliative care, which healthcare committee chair Gigi Tsereteli explained as treatment meant to reduce the symptoms of a disease, rather than cure it.

“The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve the quality of life for people facing serious, complex illness. Georgia has had a state program doing this for several years,” Tsereteli said.

The Georgian program runs under Sandra Roelofs’ patronage; the newspaper says that her support has made Georgia a pioneer in palliative care among post-Soviet states.

“Currently, only adults are provided with palliative care but I hope that soon children will also be involved in the program,” Roelofs said.

“Georgian family attacked in the conflict zone”

On January 28, a group of criminals attacked an ethnic Georgian family living in the Abkhazian conflict zone, according to Akhali Taoba.

The attackers, in search of gold and money, reportedly wounded three people and kidnapped a 24-year-old man.

The newspaper claims that eyewitnesses identified the attackers as “separatist border guards.”

“Irakli Petriashvili met with Matthew Bryza in the US”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that chair of the Union of Professional Unions of Georgia Irakli Petriashvili met with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza in Washington on January 28.

Petriashvili says the he spoke to the US official about the role unions in Georgian politics, the development of civil society and securing stability for the country.

“I’m very satisfied with this meeting,” Petriashvili said afterwards. “The US official expressed his wish to continue cooperation with the Union of Professional Unions of Georgia. This is vitally important for us.”

Petriashvili reportedly visited Washington under the auspices of a US State Department program, and is slated to meet with other Washington officials as well as American union leaders.