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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 14
Saakashvili meets Lukashenko in the Crimea

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has met President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Crimea and discussed bilateral economic and political relations. Both Presidents hailed the intensification of contact and dialogue between social groups in their countries, especially in the business and youth sectors. They expressed their hope that the number of Belarusian tourists to Georgia will increase significantly this year.

This is the second meeting between the Georgian President and a CIS member state's leader recently. A few days ago Saakashvili met President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich. Political analysts and MPs say that the restoration of diplomatic ties with CIS member states means the beginning of a new stage in relations with those countries which face pressure from Russia. (Rustavi 2)

Several European politicians expected in Tbilisi this week

A week of visits by European politicians began yesterday with the arrival of Poland`s Foreign Minister in Tbilisi. The Georgian authorities are expecting to receive other European diplomats, the most significant being French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who will have an overloaded schedule of meetings. It has been reported that during his two-day visit the senior French diplomat will make significant political statements.

Kouchner will be followed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. European security and Georgia's integration into the EU will be the top issues discussed during her visit. Other European figures are also expected later, Vice PM and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asseborn among them. An official delegation from the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands will also come to Tbilisi this week and continue its consultations regarding the cooperation launched last December with Georgian politicians. (Rustavi 2)

First Caucasian loses case

First Caucasian TV has lost a case in the Paris court, Ekho Moskvi radio reports. First Caucasian now broadcasts only on the internet.

The channel was demanding the return of the broadcasting frequency it says was granted to it in its contract with a French provider. However, the Paris court didnít satisfy its demand.

Tbilisi says that the French court delivered its verdict under pressure from Russia. The court denies this. (Interpressnews)

Natural disaster in Dusheti region

Dwelling houses and agricultural land have been flooded as a result of heavy rain in the Dusheti district which has inflicted serious damage.

Roads and two bridges connecting the villages Danakliaskari and Kobiskari to the rest of the region have been damaged. The gas supply has been cut.

The local administration is quantifying the damage. Reconstruction work has already been launched in this regard. (Prime News)