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The News in Brief

Monday, July 14
Saakashvili-Medvedev meeting on hold

Preparations for a meeting between Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have been put on hold, a Georgian official said on July 11.

The meeting was to take place by the end of the month, but after Georgia recalled its ambassador from Moscow over a Russian warplane incursion, Georgian Deputy Foreign Ministry Grigol Vashadze said there are “zero diplomatic relations” between the two countries.

“We have a fire which should be put out,” he said.
(Prime News)

Journalists rally in support of free media

Journalists for Free Speech and the cable television station Maestro rallied in protest outside the Georgian National Communications Commission at what they say is a crackdown on free media in the country.

About 30 demonstrating journalists wore gags over their mouths in symbolic protest.

They received vocal support from the opposition Labor Party.
(Prime News)

Internet group rallies outside Russian embassy

A group of internet forum users called Re-Action rallied outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi on July 11 in protest of Russian actions in Georgia’s breakaway regions.

Demonstrators linked together in a chain around the embassy building to symbolize the defense of Georgia against Russian aggression.

Rally organizers say they plan a large demonstration on August 14.
(Prime News)

Ambassadors meet at Foreign Ministry

Deputy foreign ministers Giga Bokeria and Grigol Vashadze met with ambassadors from the UN secretary general’s Group of Friends of Georgia and other officials on July 11.

The group discussed Russia’s flyover of military jets above Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Georgian officials said that the international community must take all measures to avoid further escalation of the situation.

The foreign diplomats expressed support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and concern over Russia’s actions, according to the ministry.
(Prime News)

Saakashvili in Ukraine for international summit

President Mikheil Saakashvili attended the Yalta European Strategy International Summit in Ukraine over the weekend.

Yalta European Strategy is an independent organization that brings together high-level participants to facilitate rapprochement of Ukraine and EU. It was created by Ukrainian businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk in spring of 2004.

Saakashvili returned to Georgia on July 12.
(Prime News)

South Ossetia claims North Ossetia military aid

North Ossetia is ready to lend military assistance to breakaway South Ossetia if there is a war with Georgia, said South Ossetian separatist envoy to Russia Dmitry Medoyev on July 11 in Moscow.

“If we follow the political statements of the North Ossetian parliament and public organizations with regard to South Ossetia, we will see absolute solidarity in our struggle and readiness to advocate for South Ossetia at any time,” Medoyev stated.

Medoyev says North and South Ossetia have always supported each other.

“[South Ossetian separatist leader Eduard] Kokoity has perfect business and personal relations with the president of North Ossetia, Taimuraz Mamsurov,” Medoyev added.
(Black Sea Press)

Latvia reaffirms support for Georgia

Riga will continue to support Georgia in integrating into NATO and the EU, Latvian leadership told the Georgian foreign minister on July 11 as she visited the country.

“The president of Latvia reiterated his strong support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and gave a positive assessment to the Georgian peace initiatives related to conflict resolution issues. During the talks the issue of further integration of Georgia into EU and NATO was discussed. Latvia will continue to support Georgia’s aspiration to become a full member of those structures,” said Inta Lasse, press secretary to the president of Latvia.

While in Latvia, Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili also met her counterpart and members of the Latvian parliament.
(Black Sea Press)