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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Thursday, July 9
The new Patriarch of Russia is against starting a new war, Zurab Abashidze says

Rezonansi reports that according to the ex-Ambassador of Georgia to the Russian Federation Zurab Abashidze, presently a member of the Georgian Patriarchate’s delegation to Russia, experts might start working on opening the Kazbegi Zemo Larsi border checkpoint in the near future.

The Georgian delegation in Russia has met Patriarch Kyril I and Deputy Foreign Minister of the Federation Grigory Karasin. It is led by Metropolitan Gerasime.

“The Orthodox Churches of these two countries have been actively cooperating with each other and this didn’t stop even last year during the war. After the August war the Georgian Patriarchate visited the Russian Federation. That delegation consisted of senior clergy. Ilia II was present at the funeral of Patriarch Alexy II. The Orthodox Church of Georgia is glad that the Russian Patriarchate recognises Georgian Church jurisdiction in the territory of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region.

“The Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia has also said that relations between our two Churches have been developing for centuries already. Talks between them seem quite constructive even now. There is clearly respect for the Georgian Catholicos-Patriarch and everyone understands how great his authority is.

“The most important thing is that the Russian Patriarchate is ready to solve the problems in the relations of the two countries step by step. The Russian Patriarch has stated that another aggression is hard to even imagine,” stated Zurab Abashidze.

Georgian and Abkhazian relatives meet each other in Ganmukhuri

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the Union of Georgian-Abkhazian Mixed Families (led by Rezo Bendeliani) is the only organization which has yet succeeded in making contact with the Abkhazian side after the August war. This organisation has been cooperating with Abkhazian NGOs for years and works to reunite Georgian-Abkhazian families with relatives lost after the war.

Georgians and Abkhazians have renewed their relations in recent months. Not long ago the Union of Georgian-Abkhazian Mixed Families have taken special steps to further this renewal of relations.

“The aim of the meeting was to define our future way of working, give people the chance to meet each other in a safe place and develop business relations as well. We also want to define what part international organisations can play in these processes,” said Rezo Bendeliani.

Georgian and Abkhazian families also presented trainings and seminars about “The duties of mixed families in the process of regulating conflicts.” Such meetings are a good way to improve Georgian-Abkhazian relations, it is felt.

Labour Party accuses Government of misappropriating money

Akhali Taoba reports that the Labour Party has accused the Government of appropriating the money issued by international donors. Member of the party Paata Jibladze has said that the Government has appropriated the GEL 32 million issued by the World Bank and GEL 30 million in International Development Funds.

“The Government makes farmers pay a lot of taxes and stop working on their land and move to the cities. This empties the villages.

“Instead of helping people the Government appropriates the money issued for their assistance. We demand that the Government reduce taxes, help the people and finance them,” stated Jibladze.