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The News in Brief

Thursday, February 5
Patriarch blesses all Georgia prior to departure

The Catholicos- Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, has addressed the nation at Tbilisi International Airport prior to departing to Germany for medical treatment.

His Holiness called on the people to pray and stated that he would return to Georgia soon. The Patriarch blessed the whole of Georgia.

Clergymen and civil society representatives came to the airport to see the Patriarch off. It is not yet known how long the Catholicos–Patriarch will be in Germany. (Interpressnews)

Victor Dolidze resigns

Victor Dolidze has resigned from his post of Ambassador of Georgia to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In conversation with InterpressNews Dolidze said that he had made a written application for resignation to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The former Ambassador stated that in the application his reasons for resigning were not explained. “My application is of a technical character, just two sentences. I have merely asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze to petition the President to grant me the right to leave this post,” Dolidze said. “I will give my reasons in detail after returning to Tbilisi,” he added, saying that he would return at the beginning of next week.

Victor Dolidze does not exclude possibility returning to politics although he has not specified details. According to reports, the former Ambassador to the OSCE and international organizations in Vienna is already considered a likely member of the future team of Irakli Alasania.

Victor Dolidze was born on July 4th, 1973. He was appointed as Ambassador of Georgia to OSCE and international organizations located in Vienna on July 15th, 2005, having previously been Director of the International Department of National Security Council. At various times he has worked at the Embassy of Georgia to Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as an adviser on the representation of Georgia at euro associations and NATO; and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Interpressnews)

Saakashvili visits Ganmukhuri

The President of Georgia has met local residents in the centre of Ganmukhuri and thanked them for their devotion during the August war.

Mikheil Saakashvili remarked that the fact that no Russian is in Ganmukhuri now is an achievement of local residents. After his meeting with the locals, the President of Georgia opened a post office in the village. (Interpressnews)

Saakashvili views construction of metallurgical plant in Kutaisi

A metallurgical plant is to be constructed in the town of Kutaisi in the Imereti Region in six months by Eurasian Steel Ltd., a Georgian-Indian joint enterprise. The plant will produce hundreds of tonnes of high-quality metal. Four ovens and armature-rolling departments will be set into motion, and the metal produced will replace that currently imported from Ukraine and Turkey and satisfy 60% of the local market.

The President of Georgia personally viewed the construction works of the metallurgical plant, which will employ about five hundred persons, when in Kutaisi yesterday. “It will be an absolute catastrophe if our economy stops now; it will create historically tragic results. We should create the perfect conditions for all investors,” Mikheil Saakashvili told the workers at the enterprise. (Rustavi 2)

Conservative Party urges Government to keep its word

The Conservative Party has urged the Government to keep its word and reminded the Speaker of Parliament and the President that they have agreed to make the Second Channel a forum for political debates.

Party leader Zviad Dzidziguri said at a briefing today that the President and Speaker had promised to create a channel on the Public Broadcaster which would be open for the opposition to conduct political debates. “If the promise remains just a promise, we’ll be compelled to apply political forms of protest,” Zviad Dzidziguri said. (Rustavi 2)