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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 19
Georgia hopes international community will maintain pressure on Russia

Russia is waiting for more compromises to be made by Georgia regarding the implementation of the Medvedev-Sarkozy ceasefire agreement, Director of the Political Department of the Foreign Ministry of Georgia Zurab Kachkachishvili stated at the Ministry’s traditional briefing.

Kachkachishvili explained that Russia frequently says that Georgia is not implementing the agreement and must take more steps, but it is obvious to the whole world that the only side not implementing the agreement is Russia, which instead of removing its armed units from the region, continues to reinforce its military units on the occupied territories.

Kachkachishvili stated that the Georgian side hopes that the international community will continue to pressure Russia to fulfil the terms of the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement.

First stage of NATO training over

The first stage of the NATO military exercises at the Vaziani military base has concluded. Soldiers from 14 NATO member and partner states participated in the training, which aims to improve staff skills and procedures.

Both the Georgian and Alliance exercise commanders have briefed journalists. “This is a process in which both parties learn from each other. The learning curve has been steep for us all and everyone here, including myself, has learnt from the others and leaves better trained,” Giovanni Savarese, the Alliance commander said. Georgian commander Colonel Nugzar Tsintsadze said that these trainings were very significant for the Georgian armed forces, because they help them move closer to NATO standards.
(Rustavi 2)

Patriarch meets Sokhumi University lecturers

Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II has received the professor-lecturers of Sokhumi State University, which is currently exiled in Tbilisi. The guests were invited by His Holiness personally.

Prior to the reception the Patriarch awarded Sokhumi University the Saint George Order to mark its 20th anniversary. The Patriarch also granted the students of SSU 10,000 GEL.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian TV covers work of Russian soldiers in Abkhazia, S.Ossetia

Russian TV stations are reporting the situation in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia intensively. Vesti has aired yet another propagandist story about Russian border guards at the “borders” of the two occupied regions. The report says that the border guards are living in tents now, but very soon special checkpoints will be built and they will work in more comfortable conditions.

The journalist also said that the number of border guards will be increased soon, because even the residents of the Gali district, mostly populated by ethnic Georgians, are content with the arrival of Russians in the region and expect humanitarian assistance from Russia.
(Rustavi 2)

IOM seeks to resolve psychological difficulties

In response to the rise in psychosocial needs in the conflict-affected populations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a mental health and psychosocial support project in April 2009 funded by the Polish Government.

As part of this project, a technical assistance programme will be provided designed to strengthen the capacity of primary health care workers to provide mental health and psychosocial services in the conflict affected areas. The project will also enhance the existing mental health referral system and provide community-based psychosocial interventions, particularly with NGOs and community leaders.

One of the objectives of the project is to strengthen the resilience of and empower the IDP community, particular emphasis being placed on personal growth and transformation.
(The Messenger)