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The News in Brief

Tuesday, November 4
Georgian PM introduces new Ministers

Newly appointed Prime Minister of Georgia Grigol Mgaloblishvili introduced Giorgi Khachidze, new Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Georgia, to the Ministry on Monday.

Mgaloblishvili expressed the hope that the former Governor of Samtskhe-Javakheti region would tackle the problems the agency faced. “The war is over and it is important now to return to the previous pace of development as soon as possible,” the PM said.

Giorgi Khachidze, in turn, said he was not going to radically change agency personnel. “I do not think radical changes are required from the very first day. We will be task-oriented and everyone will be given a chance to reveal his/her abilities. Professionalism will be the only criterion,” Giorgi Khachidze said.

Ex-minister Irakli Ghvaladze wished good luck to a new Minister and expressed a readiness to “serve the motherland in any position.” “I am a soldier of my motherland and will work where it is necessary and where my country will send me,” he pointed out.

Mgaloblishvili also introduced new Minister of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sports of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze (the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia). The Georgian Parliament approved the new composition of the Cabinet and a new Government programme on Saturday, November 1. The Georgian Government has 18 members, the Prime Minister, 13 Ministers and 4 State Ministers.
(Black Sea Press)

Six captured Georgians still in enemy hands

The Georgian side has not managed to secure the release of six Georgians who were captured in Kirbali village, Gori district (bordering South Ossetia) on Sunday, Black Sea Press was told in the regional administration on November 3.

According to an administration spokesperson, the six village residents went to the forest to gather wood and were captured there. Their relatives discovered this around 5 p.m. Having found the captives’ tools and jackets in the forest they immediately asked the police for help. The Interior Ministry has not commented on the case so far.

This is the second such incident within a week. Six people were also kidnapped from Zerdi village, Gori district, but two of the kidnapped persons managed to escape. These later said that they had been kidnapped in order to be exchanged for two Ossetians who had been arrested by the Georgian police a few days previously. The Ministry of the Interior of Georgia, however, claimed it did not possess any information about any Ossetians having been arrested.
(Black Sea Press)

Russian Health Ministry to construct medical centre in Abkhazia

The Federal Medico-Biological Agency (FMBA) of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation will construct a multi-functional medical centre for 150 patients in Abkhazia.

According to the de facto Prime Minister of separatist Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, a 3.8-hectare land plot has been leased for 49 years in Agudzera settlement, in the Gulripshi district for the construction of the aforesaid centre. This will treat complex diseases, including cancer, through radiology. Construction will be completed within two years, and it is planned to open the centre in 2011.

“Such a centre is required in Abkhazia. Implementation of this project will reduce the numbers of those who go for treatment abroad,” Ankvab said. According to him, Russia specialists will work at the centre in shifts. Abkhaz medics currently working in Russian hospitals will be also involved.

Following the conflict with Georgia in August this year, Russia unilaterally recognized Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Official Tbilisi, in turn, broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow. The resolution of this conflict continues with the EU’s mediation. Russia has concluded treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which provide for cooperation in the military, economic and humanitarian spheres.
(Black Sea Press)

Over 40% will not join protest rally on November 7 – Poll

40.9 percent of 410 respondents to a Kviris Palitra opinion poll are not going to join the protest rally on November 7. 26.5% of respondents say they will, while 32.6% hesitate to answer.

The Georgian non-Parliamentary opposition has announced it is planning to mark the anniversary of the violent dispersal of a peaceful rally on November 7 in Tbilisi, and there hand over a list of demands to the country’s President. The protest will begin outside the Parliament building, on Rustaveli Avenue, at 2 p.m. and will head to the residence of the President of Georgia, in Avlabari. The Conservative and Labour parties, the Movement for a United Georgia, the People’s Party and New Rights are among the groups which will participate in the protest rally.
(Black Sea Press)