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The News in Brief

Monday, May 18
Ilia II awards Sokhumi University the St. George Order

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, decorated Sokhumi University, which is temporarily exiled in Tbilisi, with the supreme award of the Georgian Church, the St. George Order, yesterday.

In Holy Trinity Cathedral Ilia II expressed the hope that the Georgian and Abkhazian people will live together again in the future. “The Abkhazian culture and language will be saved only by being together with Georgia,” the Patriarch stated.

Georgian PM holds talks with EBRD representatives

The Georgian Prime Minister is attending a business forum and holding meetings in London. Nika Gilauri has met representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and discussed projects to be funded by EBRD, including the 500-kilowatt electric transmission line between Georgia and Turkey, railway reconstruction and assistance to the banking system. The participants of the talks said that Georgia will be able to attract foreign investors if and when these projects are implemented.

Nika Gilauri also participated in a meeting entitled “Georgia’s development and future prospects” at Chatham House, otherwise known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Prime Minister outlined the current situation in Georgia to the assembled political experts.
(Rustavi 2)

Medvedev: NATO exercises in Georgia strain situation

Dmitry Medvedev has made another statement regarding the ongoing NATO exercises in Georgia. After meeting Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the Russian President said that the NATO exercises strain the situation in the region even more.

“We cannot but be concerned about the ongoing NATO exercises in Georgia. They create more problems and more tension. In my opinion, the exercises do not have a positive impact on the European security concept and will create more problems within Georgia,” Dmitry Medvedev said. He added that these and other provocative actions will create an undesirable atmosphere which will hinder attempts to restore the dialogue between Russia and NATO.

Silvio Berlusconi responded to his Russian colleague diplomatically. The Italian PM expressed hope that the existing discord between Russia and the alliance will be soon resolved and the new US administration will assist in this process.
(Rustavi 2)

Zurab Noghaideli’s party getting ready to win elections

Leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Noghaideli states that his party is getting ready to either win elections or drive out the Government. He says they have only two ways to win – through the ballot box and by putting pressure on the Government.

Zurab Noghadeli commented on the violations perpetrated against his supporters in Kobuleti and stated that the system that rules the country was to blame. “This incident proves that there is a pyramid in this country, with the coward Saakashvili at its apex, and coward policemen below him,” Noghaideli stated.

Ancient sepulchres found during construction of highway

31 sepulchres have been found by the central highway in the town of Igoeti, close to the capital of Georgia. They date back to the 5th century BC. Staff from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University are carrying out archaeological excavations at the site. Unique things have already been found.

The bodies of men, women and children have been discovered in the sepulchres. Archaeologists assume they were from rich families, because clay vessels, bronze and copper items, which were quite expensive in those days, have been found buried with them. The archaeologists suppose that more such sepulchres will be found, because the whole area around the Igoeti highway is interesting archaeologically.

This is the second time tombs have been discovered through excavation, by the Igoeti highway. The first sepulchre was found 50 metres from the site of the new discoveries a month ago. These archaeological treasures were discovered after construction of the Tbilisi-Senaki highway began.
(Rustavi 2)