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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, April 10
“Temur Iakobashvili: Abkhazian side is responsible for returning refugees!”

State Minister for Reintegration Issues Temur Iakobashvili says Tbilisi will take ‘adequate measures’ if the separatist authorities in breakaway Abkhazia refuse to allow Georgian refugees to return to the region, writes Akhali Taoba.

According to the newspaper, de facto Abkhaz president Sergey Bagapsh said refugees displaced by the secessionist conflict will be allowed back only when the separatist region’s independence is recognized internationally.

Iakobashvili said that refugees’ right of return is an obligation of the Abkhaz side.

“Right now, Bagapsh has radical opposition [in domestic politics] and he tries to compete with it in radicalism,” Iakobashvili reportedly said. “So he needs statements like that for domestic consumption.”

“Kazakhstan supports Georgia’s territorial integrity”

Akhali Taoba writes that CIS member states have not followed Russia in lifting their sanctions on breakaway Abkhazia, with Kazakhstan openly opposing the move.

The Kazakhstani Foreign Affairs Ministry says Astana respects Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Georgian government has thanked Kazakhstan for its support.

“We thank Kazakhstan as it expressed respect towards our sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry Davit Bakradze said.

Bakradze states that Russia’s decision to withdraw from the treaty enforcing sanctions on Abkhazia was so outrageous, that despite Moscow’s influence in the CIS other member states failed to follow suit and even condemned the move.

“Priest wounded in Zestafoni region”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that on April 8, a 69-year-old priest was mugged in a western Georgian district, and left injured with gunshot and knife wounds.

Father Vakhtang Kherkheulidze of Zestaponi was hospitalized and is in stable condition.

The muggers reportedly took USD 2 500 that the priest’s friends had given him to pay for a medical operation. The priest’s wife was also wounded.

“List of applicants to be announced on April 10”

The list of university hopefuls taking the 2007 National Exams will be published today on the National Assessment and Examination Center’s website,, Rezonansi reports.

Students will be able to check their registration against the list.

Early numbers show about 24 200 students signed up for this year’s National Exams, which determine university entrance and state scholarships. There are spaces for 15 778 undergraduate students.

The exams begin in July.

“Gigi Tsereteli: Our electoral program will become very popular with the public!”

Majority MP Gigi Tsereteli says the election platform of the ruling National Movement will gain ground with voters as their campaign gets underway, Akhali Taoba writes.

The election program was presented April 8.

“Our election program focuses on poverty reduction, employment, solving problems in villages, restoring the territorial integrity, and so on,” said Tsereteli. “So this program will attract many people and will gain in popularity. We will implement our priorities and live in a better Georgia.”

The newspaper writes that the ruling party’s campaign slogans include “Employment, employment and employment again!”, “The program agreed with the people!” and “Business instead of words!”

The National Movement’s campaign headquarters is in central Tbilisi’s Pushkin Square.