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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 21
First Lady meets Georgian doctors in New York

Georgia`s First Lady, Sandra Roelofs, met with those Georgian doctors, who live and work in the United States. The meeting was held in the Georgian office of the UN in New York yesterday.

Under the initiative of Mrs. Roelofs, in February a conference will be held in Washington, where Georgian authorities will propose cooperation between Georgian doctors working and living in America with the Georgian health care system.

Presumably, the government will organize and sponsor surgery operations by immigrant doctors in Georgia. In addition, the government will organize qualification courses for Georgian doctors in the United States.
(Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili To Participate In UN General Assembly’s Session

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili will participate in the 65th session of the UN General Assembly.

Mikheil Saakashvili has already left for the United States where he will take part in the high-level debates of the UN General Assembly.

President of Georgia will deliver a speech at 65th session of the UN General Assembly to be held in New York on September 23.

As President’s press speaker Manana Manjgaladze stated issues of security, Georgia’s occupation and non-fulfillment of obligation by Russia, due to the agreement of August 12, 2008, would be raised by the President at the session.

In the frames of the UN General Assembly session, a special lunch will be held for the leaders and the heads of the governments. Georgian president is invited to a reception, held by the US president for the UN General Assembly members.

During his visit to the United States, Saakashvili will hold meetings with the leaders of the Latin American and African states.

France defends possible warship sale to Russia

France`s Defense Minister on Friday defended the possible sale of French Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia and dismissed concerns that it could undermine the security of neighboring Georgia.

Moscow wants Mistral class warships to modernize hardware exposed as outdated during its war against Georgia in 2008. Earlier this month Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was in exclusive talks with France on the matter.

Some NATO allies, however, have voiced concern and urged Paris not to sell Moscow high-tech systems that could be used against Russia`s former communist neighbors.

`Russia is no longer the USSR (Soviet Union),` French Defense Minister Herve Morin told reporters after meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other top U.N. officials.

`Furthermore, can we consider for even a moment that the sale of a few vessels can significantly change the balance of force and the strategic situation between Georgia and Russia? We need to be serious on this issue,` he said through an interpreter.

Morin said he had made those arguments to NATO members who voiced concern about the possible Mistral sale, making clear to them Paris` view that it was vital to have a `dialogue with Russia` - including dialogue on military and security issues.
(Rustavi 2)

President of Judo Federation Resigns

The President of the Judo Federation Dilar Khaburliani has resigned. After meeting with the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Lado Vardzelashvili, the now former President explained his resignation.

He said that the reason of his resignation was the unhealthy situation in the Judo Federation.

Khabuliani noted that he took a decision to resign 2 months ago and that his resignation is not linked with an incident in Tokyo.

He says that former chief coach Amiran Ttikashvili did not have to be fully responsible for Irakli Tsirekidze’s disqualification in Tokyo as he is professional.

Minister Lado Vardzelashvili says that Kabuliani warned him about leaving position two months ago, he does not link his resignation with the incident in Tokyo.

‘Dilar Khabuliani stated on the meeting today that he would not be back as Judo Federation President. It is his decision. Dismissal of National team coach is really linked with Tokyo incident, though resignation of Khabuliani has nothing to do with this incident’ Vardzelashvili stated.

Chief Coach of the national team Amiran Totikashvili resigned on 18 September after the incident that took place in Tokyo. Georgian Olympic champion Irakli Tsirekidze was expelled from World Judo Championship in Tokyo on 9 September for being late.

Shota Khabareli demanded the resignation of Khabuliani at the session of the Judo Federation's Executive Commission on 18 September.

New Academic Year Launches At State Universities

A new academic year gets underway at the state universities on September 20.

On September 20 the Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs Andria Urushadze and the rector of the State Medical University Zurab Vadachkoria met with the first year students and congratulated them on the beginning of studies.

The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Dimitri Shashkini and acting as the rector of the Tbilisi State University Aleksandre Kvitashvili have also met with the students and congratulated them on the beginning of the new academic year.

There are 73 accredited universities in Georgia. Some of the commercial universities began studies last week and some of them will launch the new academic year on September 27.

Organized crime gang arrested

Officers of the Tbilisi Police Main Department have arrested the members of an organized crime gang, Paata Chighladze, Givi Elisashvili, Mirian Chighladze and Otar Khvedelidze.

The investigation has found out that the gang operated in Tbilisi. They robbed offices of commercial companies from which they used to steal cash and other precious items. They also robbed the office of the Natakhtari ltd., from where they stole 249,881 GEL.

The police have found some of the stolen cash and items. Meanwhile, the investigation is still ongoing.
(Rustavi 2)