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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 15
Patriarch of Georgia initiates signing “Georgian Unity Treaty”

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia the Second called on believers to sign a “Georgian Unity Treaty” during yesterday’s sermon in Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

The Patriarch and Metropolitan of All America and Canada Iona served the divine liturgy of the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God and the Tunic of Christ. Ilia II congratulated the parishioners and the whole of Georgia on the feast and outlined the function and value of the Svetitskhoveli cathedral in the history of Georgia. In a brief review of Orthodox Church history he noted that “We are in the place where the Tunic of Christ is buried. Many have genuflected in this temple. It is the most holy of places and the heart of Georgia.”

The Patriarch also said that we have preserved until now our language, culture, land and water, and this is especially necessary in the age of globalisation. “The nation should remember that it has been preserved. We are preserved by unity, unanimity. We, the blood and flesh of King David, Queen Tamara and other of our ancestors. We are protected by our belief, our intellectual values. Today we should once again say that we, one flesh and blood, will always be together.

“200 years ago on the initiative of King Erekle II a treaty signed by princes and the population was written. Today we begin to sign the pages of a second treaty, in which we express our unanimity that we – of one blood and flesh, will always protect our country,” the Patriarch said.

Inhabitants of all corners of Georgia, and also Georgians living outside the country, will sign the treaty to express fidelity to and support of Georgia, and commit themselves to protecting its land and its interests. The Catholicos-Patriarch said that he will be the first to sign it. (Rustavi 2)

Saboteurs blow up high-voltage power transmission line

Saboteurs blew up the high-voltage power transmission line Kartli 2 in the Khashuri district village of Tsaghvlisi at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. They mined and exploded the mast on this sector of the line, which transmits 500-kilowatt power. The mast was seriously damaged but did not fall or cease functioning.

Regional governor Lado Vardzelashvili has spoken about the danger in which the residents of the region live. “This action has proved that international organisations should intensify their work and carry out monitoring in the occupied territory, which is under Russian control and from where the threat of terrorism comes,” Vardzelashvili told journalists.

Reportedly, a clockwork explosive device was fastened to the mast and was detonated, but the mast did not fall as expected. Police and electricians are working at the scene to restore the wires and the mast.

The East of Georgia and the capital would have been blacked out if the power lines had been disconnected. Luckily, no one was injured in the incident. (Rustavi 2)

Kuwait to open Embassy in Georgia

A Kuwaiti Embassy will be opened in Georgia soon. This was announced during the Georgian President’s first official visit to that country, which is currently taking place.

Mikheil Saakashvili has met the heads of one of the most famous investment holdings in Kuwait, the Kharafi Group, and the Kuwait Finance House. These companies have invested their funds in the world’s largest brands. Later the Georgian President was hosted by the Kuwaiti royal family and met the country’s Prime Minister.

It has been agreed during the visit that the Kuwait Foundation will invest serious funds in the development of the education sector in Georgia. Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava is accompanying the President. (Rustavi 2)

Judges’ terms of office extended by ten years

Under a decision of the Supreme Council of Justice, the terms of fifteen judges of the city, regional and appeals courts, appointed in 1999, have been extended for a further ten years. The Chair of the Supreme Court of Georgia, Konstantine Kublashvili and members of the Supreme Council of Justice met these judges yesterday.

The Supreme Court Chairman said that the judiciary paid serious attention to the procedure for training, selecting and appointing judges. The 15 judges had undertaken tasks set by the Supreme Council of Justice successfully and as they had all worked as judges before were not obliged to take courses at the Supreme Justice School or take additional oaths. (Rustavi 2)

Village of Nikozi cleared of mines

Mine clearance works in the village of Nikozi have been completed. The territory has been cleared of the remains of explosive devices left over after the August war and was handed over to its council yesterday.

The first guests in the village after the clearance were Deputy Minister of Defence Nika Dzimtseishvili and journalists. The work was conducted by international charitable organisation the Norwegian People’s Assistance in coordination with the Defence Ministry of Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Natelashvili demands punishment of revolutionaries

Labour Party leader Shalva Natelashvili has urged the US administration to punish those who funded the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

“We are demanding that the current administration of the United States appoints a special prosecutor to investigate the accountability of US figures who planned and funded the Rose Revolution of 2003 in Georgia,” Natelashvili told the media yesterday.

According to the Labour Party leader one of the key reasons the Bush administration decided to change the Georgian Government via velvet revolution in 2003 was its desire to prevent the Labour Party taking power. (Rustavi 2)