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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 22
Mgaloblishvili meets Anders Fogh Rasmussen

The NATO Secretary General has held a personal meeting with Georgian Ambassador to NATO Grigol Mgaloblishvili, the NATO Information Centre reports. Mgaloblishvili and Anders Fogh Rasmussen evaluated the participation of the Georgian Armed Forces in Afganistan and the work of the NATO–Georgia Commission.

On November 18 the implementation of Georgia’s Annual National Plan will be discussed in Brussels. Permanent representatives of the alliance and Georgian senior officials will participate in this discussion, the first within the framework of the ANP about Georgia’s progress and difficulties. (Interpressnews)

Foreign Ministry of Georgia comments on Lavrov’s interview

“Mr. Lavrov is once again obstinately trying to convince an uninformed audience of something he himself does not believe in - that the international community has accused Georgia of aggression. In fact, it is obvious to any impartial observer that everything is quite the contrary,” the Foreign Ministry of Georgia has commented in response to the interview given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to the RIA Novosti agency and Russia Today TV channel on 16 October.

Georgia says that “Mr. Lavrov is trying to allege that the international community has already accustomed itself to the so-called new reality created by Russia as a result of its aggression against Georgia, ethnic cleansing and occupation of twenty percent of the territory of our state in August 2008.”

Sergey Lavrov stated in his interview that the Tagliavini commission report has proved who attacked who and that this had been known previously. He added that a lot of people had avoided making critical statements about Russia after seeing this report and expressed hope that more states would be on “the side of truth and justice” and recognise the ‘independence’ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. (Interpressnews)

Foreign Minister pays official visit to Hungary

The Georgian Foreign Minister is paying his first official visit to Hungary. Grigol Vashadze will meet Foreign Minister of Hungary Peter Balazs and senior MPs.

Vashadze has already discussed bilateral cooperation with the members of the Parliamentary friends groups of Georgia and Hungary. Other issues reviewed at this meeting were Georgia`s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures, the intensification of economic relations and the attraction of investment from Hungary into Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Teenager injured in grenade explosion

A thirteen-year old boy was seriously injured in a blast in the Kareli Region village of Dvani. Aleksandre Makhachashvili found unexploded ordnance at the local cemetery and took it home, where it exploded.

The injured boy was hospitalised immediately. Reportedly doctors are operating on his hand to avoid having to amputate it. (Rustavi 2)

Head of Architectural Service of Kutaisi Municipal Government detained for bribery

As a result of operative-investigative activities carried out by officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mamuka Kobzonadze, head of theArchitectural Service of the Kutaisi Municipal Government has been detained, the MIA’s official webpage reports.

The detainee is accused of extorting a 4,000 GEL bribe from a certain entrepreneur in return for illegally privatising a certain area and issuing a construction licence. This offence envisages a term of imprisonment of up to nine years. (Interpressnews)

Burjanadze’s mansion not sold at auction

The mansion and surrounding land once owned by Georgia’s ex-Speaker Nino Burjanadze has been handed over to the Ministry of Economic Development. After the disruption of the first auction, at which no bidders appeared, a second auction was held and the price of the mansion reduced twice, from 12 million to 5,700,000 GEL, but remains unsold.

The mansion, which was given to the Speaker a year ago for the symbolic price of one GEL, was seized by the Ministry of Incomes after Burjanadze refused to pay property tax of about 2 million GEL on it. (Rustavi 2)

Hollywood star leaves Georgia

Andy Garcia has left Georgia after performing scenes portraying events of the 2008 Georgian-Russian war and statements by President Saakashvili. The Hollywood star posed for photos with admirers at the airport before his departure.

Shooting continued until late Tuesday night outside Parliament, where the scenes of August 12 2008 were recreated. Andy Garcia played Saakashvili addressing the world and the crowd alongside five other European leaders, all played by Georgian actors.

Those who wanted to see the famous actor and be caught on camera by director Renny Harlin’s team recreated the large-scale rally against Russian aggression outside Parliament. The Georgian section of the shooting will continue without Andy Garcia. (Rustavi 2)