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The News in Brief

Monday, June 22
Davit Bakradze calls for condemnation of attempt to set fire to Parliament

Chair of Parliament Davit Bakradze has called on all political forces to condemn Saturday’s attempt to set fire to Parliament.

Bakradze said that he remembered seeing Parliament on fire 17 years ago and then witnessed the civil war that followed. “A Parliament building on fire is a symbol of civil war, confrontation and destruction,” Bakradze stated. “We are threatened with extremely dangerous processes and events, which must be condemned by all political parties,” he added.

Several young people threw a bottle filled with liquid at Parliament at about 23:00 on Saturday night and the building caught fire. Reportedly the entry doors are not completely burnt, but still significantly damaged. Law enforcers have detained one person who took part in the incident. An investigation is in progress.

Barack Obama nominates John Bass as Ambassador to Georgia

Barack Obama has announced he will send a new Ambassador to Georgia and has nominated John Bass for the position.

John Bass has led the Provincial Reconstruction Team-Baghdad, a joint team of civilians and military personnel supporting the Government and citizens of Baghdad province, since July 2008. Prior to serving in Iraq, Mr. Bass served as Director of the State Department’s Operations Center for three years, coordinating the State Department’s response to crises threatening American Embassies, personnel and citizens.

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Bass has also served in Italy, Belgium and Chad. Other assignments at the State Department include work on Turkey, Cyprus, NATO-Russia relations and conventional arms reductions in Europe.

The present US Ambassador to Georgia, John F. Tefft, was sworn in on July 28, 2005.
(Rustavi 2)

Grigol Vashadze leaves for USA

Foreign Minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze has left for the USA. He will meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and attend the first council session concerning the implementation of the cooperation charter signed between the two states.

The Georgian and US sides will also discuss issues in the fields of Security, Energy and Defence, strengthening democracy and deepening bilateral relations. The Georgian side believes the meeting between Vashadze and Clinton will usher in a new stage of relations between the states.

Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates visits Georgia

The Georgian President has met the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. Their meeting was held at the Bobokvati residence, in the Adjara region, and lasted several hours.

Mikheil Saakashvili and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed projects Arab businessmen will implement in Georgia. Prior to this, the Sheikh viewed the investment environment in the Adjara region and the head of the Adjaran Government met Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Batumi airport. The Georgian Prime Minister received the Foreign Minister later.

The Sheikh said that the possibility of constructing a hydroelectric power station in Adjara is being discussed. Future cooperation between the sides, including signing agreements and implementing investments, was also discussed at the meeting.
(Rustavi 2)

Gas transit from Georgia to Armenia resumes

Gas transit to Armenia from Georgia has resumed, Interpressnews has been told by the Georgian Oil & Gas Corporation. It was suspended on 16 June, due to rehabilitation works on the north-south pipeline in Gardabani implemented as part of the Millennium Foundation’s Energy Security Project.

Construction works were carried out on 9 units by New Energy-Tbilisi-Sakhidro, which won an international tender worth GEL 8.7 million authorising it to do so. Work on the whole pipeline began in September 2008 and will be finished this summer.

Strong wind leaves one dead in Zugdidi

A strong wind has caused the death of a woman in the town of Zugdidi, in the Samegrelo region. The sudden gust uprooted several trees in the town’s central park, one of which fell on two women on Saturday. Nazi Akobia, 60 died at the scene, the other woman has been badly injured. She has been taken to Zugdidi Republican hospital.
(Rustavi 2)