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The News in Brief

Monday, February 7
Australia to open an Embassy in Georgia

Australia will open an embassy in Georgia in 2012. This became known following a meeting between Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili and Australia’s Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd at the Munich Security Conference.

Kevin Rudd officially invited Saakashvili to Australia and an Australian delegation headed by the head of the state will pay an official visit to Georgia.

Mikheil Saakashvili and Kevin Rudd discussed bilateral relations and future cooperation. Saakashvili also met with Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey. Apart from bilateral cooperation the sides also discussed problems in Russian-Georgian relations, with one of the main topics being activating the role of the Swiss as mediator in improving Georgian-Russian relations.

IPRM Group meeting held in Ergneti

The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism Group’s meeting to discuss recent developments in the occupied Tskhinvali Region and violation of human rights beyond the boundary line was held in Ergneti, Shida Kartli region on February 4.

Georgia raised a number of issues – the transfer of Georgian citizens kidnapped by South Ossetian proxy regime, providing water supply to villages adjacent to the occupied territory, violations of human rights, etc.

Having taken over the presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Lithuania participated in the negotiations for the first time.

Gilauri met US Treasury Secretary

Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri continues his meetings in the USA and met with the Treasury Secretary of the United States, Timothy Geithner.

As part of his working visit to Washington, Nika Gilauri met with the US Treasury Secretary together with the president of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Daniel Yohannes and US senators.

According to Gilauri discussions at the meetings covered the resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia, issues of bilateral economic relations, the potential for free trade between Georgia and the U.S., as well as MCC funding, which Georgia may soon receive.

The Prime Minister said that he was content with negotiations with the MCC president, Daniel Yohannes. The sides spoke about the allocation of a grant to Georgia specifically for the construction of an American university and a hospital in Georgia.

State Scholarship rules change

Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Dmitry Shashkin and Director of National Examinations Centre, Maia Miminoshvili held a briefing to explain that the rules for awarding state scholarship have changed according to a decree by the Georgian government.

In 2011, students, enrolled in the faculties of Law, Health Management, Business Administration, Mass Communications/Journalism, International Relations and Public Administration will be financed only if they receive a 100% state grant.

The Georgian government will finance studies in other fields with 100%, 70%, 50%, and 30% state grants.

Detailed information on the new rules concerning awarding scholarships is available on the web sites of the Georgian Education Ministry and National Examinations Centre.

Georgian Officers in Polish Army Museum opens in Warsaw

During his visit to Poland the Georgian Foreign Minister opened a Museum of Georgian Officers in the Polish Army in Warsaw.

At the opening ceremony Warsaw University Professors presented the story of how the museum was created.

Together with materials on the Georgian officers there are also materials referring to famous Georgian ecclesiastical figure, theologian and historian Grigol Peradze.

Grigol Vashadze and Georgia’s ambassador to Poland awarded medals of honour to those who contributed to the museum’s creation.

After the award ceremony, a small reception was held for representatives of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the Georgian embassy in Poland, the Polish legislative body, cultural sphere and clergymen.
(Rustavi 2)

Transport administration to be divided into three agencies

A new legislative initiative has been submitted to the Georgian parliament, with the aim of dividing the United Transport Administration into three separate agencies. Instead of one United Transport Administration, the Agency of Civil Aviation, Civil Transport Agency and Marine Agency will operate independently. The government hopes the structural changes will improve transport security and bring the standards closer to European ones.

“United Transport Administration will be divided into three independent legal entities. International transfers licenses will be issued via tenders. These innovations will enable an improvement in the quality of the Georgian transport service and confidence therein,” the President’s parliamentary secretary Gia Khorushvili announced.
(Rustavi 2)