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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 13
MFA: Free Visa Regime Between Georgia And Iran To Come Into Force From January 26

A visa-free regime between Georgia and Iran will come into force on January 26, 2011.

Prime-News was informed by the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

The agreement provides for a visa-free stay for Iranian citizens in Georgia and Georgian citizens in Iran for 45 days. Citizens of both countries will be able to use the transit checkpoints of these countries.

According to the law, in order to stay in the country for more than 45 days, a visa or special permission is required.

The agreement between Georgia and Iran on the abolishment of the the visa regime was signed on November 3, 2010 in Tbilisi.

From the Georgian side the document was signed by Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze and from the Iranian part – by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. (Prime-News)

External Debt Of Georgia By End Of 2010 Defined In Amount Of USD 3,936,882,000

By the end of 2010, the external debt of Georgia is defined at US$ 3,936,882,000.

The indicator of external debt of Georgia as of December 31, 2010 exceeds this figure of November 30 by US$ 64,737,000.

According to the Ministry of Finance, out of total debt on multilateral loans, the debt amounts to US$ 2,850,597,000 and with respect to bilateral loans – US$ 582,892,000.

The amount of loans taken by Georgia under the state guarantee is US$ 3,392,000 and Eurobond debt amounts to US$ 500 million as of December 31, 2010. (Prime-News)

What is Written in Last Communique of Geneva Consultations?

The West may demand recognition of independence of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia from Georgia . The presumption was expressed by political expert Soso Tsintsadze in talks with InterpressNews.

Tsintsadze names communique, adopted at the last negotiations of Geneva, as a ground for the doubt. Tsintsadze says the above-mentioned stance is included in the communique.

‘The sides have agreed that progress in peacekeeping process is impossible without satisfaction of Russian requests’, Tsintsadze said.

According to him, the Geneva consultations did not have results in the past either, though Giga Bokeria had not expressed reprimands towards the UN and EU before.

Tsintsadze said ‘the impression is that Georgia is hampering ‘some game’ of the West in an attempt to regulate relations with Russia. (Rustavi 2)

Baramidze Continiues Visit To Lithuania

Vice-Premier and State Minister on Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures Giorgi Baramidze has held the first meeting with Foreign Minister of Lithiania Audronius Azubalis.

Prime-News was told about it by the press service of the State Minister’s administration.

According to the press service, the sides discussed the strengthening of Lithuania's role as acting chairman of OSCE in settlement of the Russian-Georgian conflict and the question of de-occupation of Georgian territories due to the peaceful initiative of President Saakashvili.

On January 12, Baramidze held meetings with the prime minister, defense minister and deputy speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament.

Baramidze will participate in the events, devoted to the twentieth anniversary of a Day of Freedom’s defender.

Official visit of Minister of State in Lithuania began on January 11. (Prime-News)

7-year-old girl infected with H1N1

A seven year old girl was taken to Iashvili Children’s Clinic with the symptoms of H1N1 flu. The girl has a high temperature and all necessary treatment will be provided to the patient to help her recover.

Doctors say the laboratory tests have confirmed the H1N1 infection. Vano Chkheidze, chief pediatrician of the Iashvili Children’s Clinic has said several cases of H1N1 infection were registered in their clinic, but the data gave no grounds to expect epidemics. Most of the patients have already been discharged from hospital and will undergo treatment at home. (Rustavi 2)

Ukrainian media covers Christmas event in Mestia

The Ukrainian media is actively covering recent developments in Georgia`s highly mountainous Region of Svaneti. Local television Inter aired a story about rehabilitated Svaneti, where the government of Georgia has reconstructed tourist infrastructure by investing several hundreds millions.

The narrator says the government constructed new roads, new airport in Mestia, arranged new ski tracks. The story also covered the Christmas event, where Ukrainian stars sang for locals, who were also impressed with Ukrainian dishes. People were drinking toasts mostly about the friendship between Ukrainian and Georgian peoples. (Rustavi 2)