The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, October 30
Bundestag delegation arrives in Georgia

A German delegation, led by the Bundestag member Renate Blank, has arrived in Georgia to select Georgian candidates for the Bundestag International Parliamentary Scholarship (IPS), Black Sea Press was told at the Embassy of the Republic of Germany in Georgia on Wednesday.

Delegation members will hold meetings with the leadership of the Georgian Parliament and Georgian lawmakers. Meetings with former scholarship holders will also be organized.

120 scholarship holders from 23 countries worldwide will be able to familiarize themselves with the Parliamentary system in Germany from March 1, 2009. The goal of the programme is to demonstrate to students the actual political life and process of democratic decision making. The students will work in the Deputy Bureau and in parallel will be able to attend classes at one of the universities in Berlin.

The programme is implemented under the patronage of the Chairman of the German Parliament and three Berlin-based universities. The German Bundestag will cover all transport and accommodation expenses, as well as insurance and scholarship fees. More details about the programme will be available at the Embassy of Germany in Georgia till December 2008. (Black Sea Press)

Mobiles impeded soldiers – Gogava

The use of cellular phones was the biggest mistake made during the August events in Georgia, the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Zaza Gogava, stated on Tuesday, at the meeting of the Temporary Parliamentary Commission studying the August developments.

“The biggest mistake was the effect of mobile phones. The use of mobile communication was not restricted and that had a negative influence on the soldiers themselves,” Gogava said. “The use of mobile phones demoralized and relaxed the soldiers,” Gogava said. He also recalled that before the August developments, two suicide cases were reported in the Georgian Armed Forces. The soldiers committed suicide after learning about serious problems in their private lives through mobile phones.

Another thing that, according to Gogava, affected the course of events was that “soldiers exchanged information about their location and the direction of performed flights via cellular.” Gogava pointed out that, even though Georgia possessed the new “Harris” communication system, its fully-fledged utilization turned out to be a problem, as the system was rather complex. The same, according to Gogava, was true with the use of M4. According to Gogava, the situation developed very quickly and soldiers were ordered to use AK-74 assault rifles. “Mental change in the Georgian Armed Forces does not mean approximation to NATO standards,” Gogava said. At the same time, Gogava pointed out that it was better to purchase small amounts of military hardware rather than purchase it in bulk and modernize it. (Black Sea Press)

President of Belgian Chamber of Representatives to visit Georgia

The President of the Chamber of Representatives of the Kingdom of Belgium, Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, will be paying an official visit to Georgia from October 29-30, Black Sea Press was told in the Georgian Parliament.

During the visit Herman Van Rompuy will meet with Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze, Public Defender Sozar Subari and the Deputy Foreign Minister as well as opposition members in and outside Parliament. A joint news conference of the heads of the Parliaments of Georgia and Belgium will be organized.

In the framework of his visit to Georgia, the President of the Chamber of Representatives of the Kingdom of Belgium will also meet ex-Speaker and current President of the Foundation for Democracy and Development Nino Burjanadze.

The visit’s official programme includes a number of cultural events, during which Mr. Rompuy will visit “Sameba” (Holy Trinity) Cathedral in Tbilisi and Svetitskhoveli in Mtskheta, as well as Jvari monastery and the Treasury of the Arts Museum of Georgia. (Black Sea Press)

Council of Europe Congress to observe Adjara elections

A delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe will visit Georgia from October 31-November 4, 2008, to observe the elections to the Supreme Council of Adjara, the Council of Europe’s webpage reads.

Prior to election day the delegation, headed by Congress Vice-President Gunther Krug (Germany), will hold meetings in Tbilisi and Batumi with representatives of the international community and the Supreme Council of Adjara, NGOs and political parties.

The elections to the Supreme Council of Adjara will be held on November 3. (Black Sea Press)