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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 25
CARE building 190 cottages for the war affected population in Shida Kartli

After much hard work CARE is approaching completion of the construction of 190 warm cottages in villages of the Gori and Kareli regions. Four contractors from Gori, the winners of the announced tender, implemented this project.

Due to the difficult conditions they live in special attention was given to housing vulnerable families. “These cottages will help families go through the winter with dignity and later, when their main houses are reconstructed, they could be used as utility rooms, workshops, barns, and the like. Construction of the houses should be completed by December 31, 2008. Families, together with the CARE construction engineers, monitor the process, and we hope that all of them will be able to celebrate Christmas and New Year in their new cottages,” said Henk Meyer, Emergency Response Programme Team Leader.

From the very first days of the conflict, CARE has been assisting more than 55,000 individuals in villages in all parts of Georgia. (The Messenger)

Azerbaijan to build new port in Georgia

The Azerbaijan state oil company plans to build a new port in Kulevi in which to load big tankers with Azeri-transported oil, says its Press Service. Presently the tankers are loaded in the open sea via the Kulevi terminal. (The Messenger)

Nino Burjanadze to hold meetings in Georgian regions

The leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, will hold the party’s irst regional meeting in Samegrelo, Western Georgia.

Black Sea Press was told by the party’s Press Service on Wednesday that Burjanadze will participate in the opening of its regional and district offices in Zugdidi and in the first regional conference in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti. On December 25-26, Burjanadze will take part in regional conference in Rustavi. (Black Sea Press)

President’s administration employee surrenders to prosecutors

Otar Khurtsidze, an employee of the Georgian President’s administration suspected of money extortion, has surrendered to prosecutors, Black Sea Press was told at the Ministry of Justice of Georgia on December 24. Khurtsidze voluntarily surrendered after the briefing held by First Deputy Chief Prosecutor Davit Sakvarelidze on Tuesday.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Khurtsidze, who dealt with technical issues related to the Pardoning Commission’s activities, made an agreement with three individuals to secure the release of convict Sofia Asatiani. First he demanded USD 15,000 and then a further USD 10,000 to get he released. Three persons agreed to give the required sum to Khurtsidze upon convict’s release, but then met her at the women’s colony on the day she was released and demanded that first she and then her family pay USD 15,000 thousand. They threatened that if they did not comply she would be returned to prison. Two of these men were arrested on December 18, 2008 while the money was being handed over and the third later. (Black Sea Press)

UNHCR and Georgia to continue consultations over humanitarian assistance

Georgia will continue consultations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on humanitarian assistance for Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali district. This was stated at the meeting between the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Alexander Nalbandov and Deputy Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Georgia Christopher Bierwirth, held at the latter’s request, the Press and Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reports.

During the meeting the sides also discussed various topical issues related to the cooperation between UNHCR and Georgia. Special emphasis was placed on issues of humanitarian assistance, and the sides agreed to continue consultations on this issue and others of mutual interest. (Black Sea Press)