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The News in Brief

Friday, May 28
President encourages schoolchildren

On May 27 President Mikheil Saakashvili met with Batumi schoolchildren and gave gold and silver medals to those who had achieved good marks.

Saakashvili said that Georgia has a big future. "Georgia has a big development perspective today, which is not only about newly constructed or renovated buildings. It is a future which you should create," he said.

Saakashvili appealed to the schoolchildren to learn many languages because each of them will be extremely useful. “During my visit to Central America I gave a lot of thanks to my mother who insisted that I learn Spanish. She made me learn Spanish when I thought it would not be useful for me. We need languages like Turkish, Arabian, Chinese, English, Spanish. We need everything,” Saakashvili said.

"We did not have good conditions in my day and the one idea people had was to leave this city and go abroad. Now this has changed. You need not leave this country now, and if you go abroad for study to it in order to come back again. Then other people will also come here," he added.

Talking about his opponents, Saakashvili said that despite their negative attitude towards the Government and their various activities everyone can see that a lot of work is being done. “Let them criticise us how they want, but not stop our work," he declared. (The Messenger)

First international youth camp opens

The first international youth camp in Georgia has opened. Belarusian and Polish youths are expected to join Georgian students this year in the small village of Anaklia, a seaside resort in Western Georgia. The new camp, of modern European standard, has been constructed in the LEGO style.

The new camp has been constructed, on the President Saakashvili's initiative, close to the village of Ganmukhuri, where Russian occupiers and Abkhaz separatists burnt down a Patriot Camp in February 2009. The President opened the new youth camp on Thursday. Wearing a Georgian national team t-shirt, he later played volleyball with young people in the camp.

Mikheil Saakashvili also opened a newly constructed bridge on the Enguri River. The 360-metre bridge connecting Ganmukhuri and Anaklia has been constructed using new technology. (Rustavi 2)

Iakobashvili: Russian exercises in Abkhazia are a dull-witted response

By holding military exercises in Abkhazia the Russian occupation forces are trying to prove that they control the situation in the region, State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili says.

"By holding these exercises in Georgia’s occupied territory of Abkhazia, Russia is demonstrating to the local population that they control the situation there,” said Iakobashvili. He added that these exercises are a dull-witted response to the military parade held in Tbilisi on May 26.

The exercises in the Gagra district began on May 27 and will last for two days. Senior officers of the Russian occupation forces will observe them. (Prime-News)

ISAF returns to Georgia

The Georgian Army's peacekeeping contingent has returned to Georgia. Servicemen of the 23rd Battalion of the 2nd Infantry Brigade took part in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) operation under French command in Kabul. They began their mission in November 2009 and provided security for 15 NATO member and partner countries’ military at the French base.

“We can proudly say that the peacekeeping mission has been performed successfully. I want to extend my gratitude to each soldier for their devoted service in this mission,” Senior Lieutenant Jemal Tsitadze said upon arrival from Afghanistan.

172 servicemen of the GAF Land Forces and Orthodox Chaplain Father Ioseb conducted their mission in Afghanistan over six months. (Rustavi 2)

President of Georgia to visit France

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will pat a working visit to France on June 7. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze told journalists that Mikheil Saakashvili will meet the President of France and discuss issues of cooperation in military, aviation and other spheres.

Saakashvili will raise the issue of the non-fulfilment by Russia of the commitments it undertook in the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008. The delegation led by President Saakashvili will return to Georgia on June 9. (Prime-News)

Georgia does not recognise so-called Parliamentary elections in Nagorno Karabakh

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has published an official statement concerning the recent elections in the self-proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and does not recognise the so-called "Parliamentary elections" conducted in Nagorno Karabakh on 23 May 2010. We strongly believe that the ongoing peace process in the region has no alternative and should be continued with the participation of international actors until a final settlement of the conflict is negotiated," the statement reads. (Prime-News)

Nalbandov and Turkish Ambassador to Georgia discuss issues of cooperation

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Nalbandov met Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Georgia Levent Murat Burhan on the request of the Turkish side on May 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia reports.

During the meeting bilateral cooperation issues were discussed. According to the Foreign Ministry the Turkish Ambassador provided Nalbandov with information on the joint declaration signed between Iran, Turkey and Brazil in Tehran on May 17, 2010. (Prime-News)