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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 17
Clinton reiterates support for Georgia

US Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton has made yet another supporting statement about Georgia during a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania in Washington.

“We continue to raise concerns about the territorial integrity of a country like Georgia,” Hillary Clinton said and added the issue was of particular significance.

In his turn, the Lithuanian Minister said that “There are certain issues which we won’t sacrifice for anything – these are democracy, human rights, territorial integrity. I think this is a crucial for any democratic state,” Foreign Minister Azubalis said.

The two diplomats also discussed the upcoming NATO summit and energy security issues. (Rustavi2)

President opens Government House construction in Kutaisi

The Georgian president attended the start of construction of the government house in Kutaisi yesterday.

“We are creeping step-by-step from Tbilisi; we first moved the parliament building and now the government house to Kutaisi,” Mikheil Saakashvili said, adding that the project of making Kutaisi Georgia’s second capital was being implemented.

He said one of the initiators of the idea to move the parliament from Tbilisi to Kutaisi was the mayor of the capital Gigi Ugulava.

President also spoke about the infrastructural projects, which were underway in Kutaisi.

“We are constructing very interesting infrastructure around Kutaisi; a complex of caverns will be arranged in Sataflia, Khoni, Martvili and a unique development of Abashistskali Gorge is also planned. Vani will soon become the centre of interesting architecture and great cultural centre. The whole region will be developed by a new road, which will be constructed and will be a by pass from Zestaponi to Samtredia. In Spring 2012 this road will lead us to Batumi and to the border, which will further grow the importance of this region,” Saakashvili said. (Rustavi2)

Success doesn’t depend on parents – Gigi Ugulava

According to Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, achieving success does not depend on mummies, daddies, grandmas and grandpas, but on knowledge and learning. Ugulava made the statement at the presentation of project ‘Book Buddy’ at the Tbilisi Public School ¹1.

The Mayor together with the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Dimitri Shashkin introduced the new project to the school children of primary classes. The guests spoke about the importance of literacy and read literature together with the second graders.

“Success is does not depend on mummies, daddies, grandmas and grandpas, but on knowledge and learning. The computer and internet alone are not enough to obtain knowledge. You should become friends with books,” the Mayor told pupils. .

The Book Buddy project is designed to develop children’s reading, listening and analysing skills, also to help popularise reading.

According to the project’s concept, secondary school students, students, writers, famous people and other volunteers will read literature together with the primary age pupils and afterwards hold discussions. Similar projects are being implemented in many countries throughout the world with the participation of well-known people. (Interpressnews)

Georgia’s 31st Battalion returns from Afghanistan

Soldiers of the 31st Battalion of the Georgian Armed Forces (composed of 749 soldiers) arrived in Georgia from Afghanistan on Monday. They were serving in Helmand province as part of the NATO-led ISAF operation US peacekeeping contingent.

They were received by Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia, Chief of JS of GAF Major-General Devi Chankotadze and the US Ambassador in Georgia John R. Bass.

Replacement of the Georgian soldiers under the ongoing rotation will be over by the end of this November. The 31st Battalion will be changed by the 32nd Battalion of III Infantry Brigade on a step-by step basis. The soldiers underwent a 6-months intensive training course for the ongoing ISAF operation under the aegis of NATO. (Rustavi2)

Tbilisi raises Georgia’s occupation at BSEC meeting

The Georgian delegation made a special statement on the illegal actions of Russia on the occupied Georgian territories in the field of tourism at a meeting of the ministers in charge of tourism of the BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation) member states, held in Athens, Greece, according to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

The Georgian Delegation was headed by Irakli Tavartkiladze – the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Republics of Greece and Serbia.

The statement calls upon the international community and BSEC to take all necessary measures to prevent criminal activities of the Russian Federation on the occupied territories.

Georgia has been one of the BSEC founding countries since 1992. BSEC was created as an economic organisation for the purpose of developing economic relations between the countries.

BSEC includes Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey and Ukraine. Observer countries of the organisation are Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and the USA.

During the meeting the participants discussed the prospects of development of cooperation in the tourism sector and adopted a relevant declaration that will be a guideline for the BSEC working group on tourism. (Prime-News)