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The News in Brief

Monday, April 13
Patriarch calls on people to listen to each other

Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second called on the Georgian people to listen to each other in his Palm Sunday sermon at the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

“We must understand each other in order to substitute sorrow with happiness. We must understand that everyone loves their homeland but we must not be obsessed by arrogance, it is a great sin,” the Patriarch said.

Ilia the Second blessed the whole of Georgia. After the sermon, pussy willows which are to bew used as palms were blessed.

President Mikheil Saakashvili and his family, Sandra Roelofs and Eduard and Nikoloz Saakashvili, attended the liturgy alongside Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, Rusudan Kervalishvili and Koba Subeliani and Jondi Baghaturia from the opposition. Thousands of people were at the cathedral.

EU and Georgian Patriarch have same position

The EU and the Georgian Patriarch express the same position regarding the ongoing protest rallies in Tbilisi, Peter Semneby has said. The EU Special Representative said the only way out of the situation is a peaceful dialogue and mutual understanding. “Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II thinks the same,” Peter Semneby said after a meeting with the opposition in Tbilisi Marriott Hotel.

“Agreement on the political issues will come as soon as we resolve the issue of talks, the dialogue that we hope will be established. We are not at that stage yet, but our position remains the same. The EU and all other friends and partners of Georgia also wish to resolve the confrontation with talks. We should maintain peace in Georgia,” Peter Semneby.
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Georgian film director receives Order of St. George

Georgian film director Eldar Shengelaia has been decorated with the Order of St. George, the highest state honour, by the Georgian President. It was given to the director for investigating the April 9, 1989 events and telling the truth about them to the whole world. The award ceremony was held in the Avlabari Presidential Residence.

Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about Eldar Shengelaia`s other merits. “All bold dreams will come true and all bold idealists have the chance to attain their ideals. To prove this, watch the Crankies (a film by Eldar Shengelaia),” Mikheil Saakashvili told the assembled company at his residence. Another movie Saakashvili praised, considered the director`s masterpiece, is The Blue Mountains. “If something exactly describes the system we are trying to get rid of today, it is The Blue Mountains. If we want to see what we don`t want to return to, we should watch the movie again,” Saakashvili said.

US President George Bush was the first recipient of the St. George Order. He was decorated with this during his visit to Georgia.
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Orthodox Church celebrates Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, the Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, was celebrated throughout Georgia yesterday. Palm Sunday is a moveable feast which always falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates an event mentioned in all four Canonical Gospels (Mark 11:1-11, Matthew 21:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, and John 12:12-19}: the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem before his Passion.

Grigol Vashadze begins visit to USA

Foreign Minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze is visiting the USA, his first visit there since the election of the new US administration. Vashadze will meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his deputy and the Permanent Representatives of France, Turkey, the United Kingdom, China, the USA and Austria to the UN.

Vashadze says that the issue of the next UN Security Council resolution and the situation on Georgian territory occupied by Russia will be discussed with Hillary Clinton. Perspectives of future UN future work in Georgia will be discussed with Ban Ki-moon.

Vashadze’s visit to the USA will end on 16 April.