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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 19
Georgia denies resumption of drone flights

Deputy Interior Minister Ekaterine Zghuladze denied yesterday that Georgia has restarted flying surveillance drones over its breakaway region of Abkhazia.

“Every time Russia does something illegal, the next day the Abkhaz side puts forward some accusations against Georgia. Those accusations are not worth paying attention to,” she said.

Two days ago Tbilisi confiscated anti-tank missiles from briefly detained Russian peacekeepers.

Russian media sources reported Georgian drone flights had resumed over Abkhazia earlier in the day.

An Interior Ministry representative said Georgia officially suspended all reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia earlier this month, following criticism of the flights from a UN investigation into the downing of a drone. The investigation concluded that Russia was to blame for shooting the drone.

“Georgia will only resume flights if there is a necessity prompted by an increased military threat,” the Interior Ministry representative said. (Black Sea Press)

Minor earthquake in Tbilisi

Minor earthquake tremors were detected in Tbilisi yesterday, according to the seismology center.

The minor earthquake occurred at 15.05 p.m. and the epicenter was 15 kilometers from Dmanisi.

No injuries or damage was reported. (Prime News)

Foreign minister meets NATO secretary general

Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili met with NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer in Brussels.

Scheffer described the meeting as “significant.”

“The meeting is held within frames of intensive dialogue, I'm looking forward the session of the North Atlantic Council which will be held in Tbilisi in September,” he said after the meeting. This session will be held on September 3–5.

Tkeshelashvili said she hopes Georgia will obtain a Membership Action Plan, the next stage of integration into the alliance, in December when NATO foreign ministers meet to discuss Georgia’s progress. (Prime News)

Education minister meets teachers and students of Deer Leap program

Education Minister Gia Nodia awarded winning teachers and students participating in the Deer Leap program with computers and printers.

The program began in March 2005, in collaboration with the Estonian Tiger Leap Foundation, and aims to give Georgia’s schools IT facilities. (Prime News)