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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 30
Nicolas Sarkozy may visit Tbilisi

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will pay a visit to the Caucasus in June and is considering the possibility of visiting Tbilisi as well, according to which cites l’ Express.

It is reported that on 15-16 June Sarkozy will visit Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. As part of this trip he plans to visit Tbilisi for a short time.

“Although this information is being denied by the Elysee Palace for the time being it will irritate Moscow in any case,” the newspaper writes, adding that this will be Sarkozy’s third visit to Georgia within the last 10 months. (Interpressnews)

Peter Semneby to pay next official visit to Tbilisi on May 1

Peter Semneby, the EU Special Envoy for the South Caucasus, will pay his next official visit to Tbilisi on May 1.

Peter Semneby will hold meetings with representatives of the Georgian Government, the opposition and independent experts. It is expected that the EU envoy will stay in Tbilisi for 2-3 days. (Interpressnews)

Goga Khaindrava – Cells to be erected in Georgian regions

Cells will be erected in the Georgian regions as well, Goga Khaindrava has stated in front of Parliament after meeting the Patriarch.

Khaindrava says that the Georgian people have shown that they will not get accustomed to injustice. He adds that a billboard will be put up near the Parliament building cells bearing a sign in English and Georgian which will read: ‘Town of Freedom and Justice.’ (Interpressnews)

MIA releases statement concerning assault

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has released an official statement concerning a physical assault on members of the People’s Party.

“The Old Tbilisi District Police Division of the Tbilisi Police Main Division of the Interior Ministry have launched an investigation into the case of the physical assault inflicted on Zaza Elchibegov and Irakli Kobakhidze. In connection with this the police notified the aforesaid persons that they were to appear at the police station and be questioned as victims. Despite this Zaza Elchibegov and Irakli Kobakhidze have refused to give testimony to the police. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, aiming to establish the truth of this criminal matter, calls upon the aforesaid persons to start cooperating with the law enforcement agencies.,” the statement reads. (Interpressnews)

Charter Signed between Georgia and Lithuania

The Press Centre of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that on 28-29 April 2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze paid an official visit to the Republic of Lithuania.

On 28 April, in Vilnius, the Georgian Foreign Minister held meetings with President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, Speaker of Parliament Arunas Valinskas, Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius and Foreign Minister Vigaudas Ushatskas. As part of the official visit the Foreign Ministers of the two countries signed a Charter on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration between Georgia and the Republic of Lithuania. The document aims to facilitate Georgia's integration into the European Union and the North Atlantic Alliance. To this end the Charter envisages the establishment of a new institutionalized mechanism of regular consultations, including those in the fields of policy, economy, energy, science, culture and defence.

The sides discussed a broad spectrum of bilateral issues between Georgia and the Republic of Lithuania, giving special focus to the strategic character of cooperation between the two partner states. Mr. Vashadze expressed his gratitude to the Government and people of Lithuania for the support and assistance this country has been rendering to Georgia since its very first days of independence. (Interpressnews)

Iran's participation in NABUCCO will depend on its commercial benefit

“The NABUCCO gas pipeline project must be made as transparent as possible. Everyone must have access to it,” Platts (UK) specialist on energy security John Roberts said at the third Caspian Oil and Gas and Trade and Transport conference in Baku, Trend News reports.

The key task is to build the pipeline between Turkey and Austria. "Later everything will develop respectively," Roberts said. "The European Commission will make efforts to address the problems of transit and financing. It is positive that efforts are being made while it is not known whether they will be successful or not," he said.

Roberts said Iran's participation in the project depends on the commercial benefit it will bring. "If commercial proposals are made to transport Iranian gas to the system (for example, via Turkey), it will be transported," the Platts representative said.

The British Confidence Energy and the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy are the organizers of the conference. Trend Capital Agency renders media support.

The NABUCCO project, worth $7.9 billion euro ($10.1 billion) will deliver Azerbaijani and Central Asian gas to the EU. Construction of the pipeline is expected to commence in 2011. It will be filled in 2014. Its maximum capacity will be 31 billion cubic metres per year.

NABUCCO’s shareholders are Austria’s OMV, Hungary’s MOL, Bulgaria’s Bulgargaz, Romania’s Transgaz, Turkey’s Botas and Germany’s RWE, who have 16.7 percent of the shares each. NABUCCO Gas Pipeline International will invest 30 percent of the total cost of the project and the rest will be invested via loans. (Interpressnews)