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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 23
Georgian Soldier killed in Afghanistan

A corporal in the Georgian armed forces, Giorgi Avaliani died as a result of a land mine blast while serving within the ISAF peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan. Two other soldiers were wounded.

“The Defense Ministry expresses its deep sorrow over the death of the Georgian soldier serving with the ISAF peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and extends its condolences to his family,” reads a statement by the Ministry of Defence.

The Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili also expressed his condolences over the Georgian soldier’s death in Afghanistan in a statement, “The President of Georgia expresses his deep sorrow over the Georgian soldier’s death in Afghanistan and extends his condolences to the family of the killed soldier.”

Corporal Giorgi Avaliani was serving in the 32nd battalion in Helmand province. The two wounded corporals, Nikoloz Deisadze and Ednar Abuladze have been transferred to the military hospital.

Georgian military forces have served in Afghanistan since 2009. (Prime-News)

Cabinet discusses reorganisation of environmental ministry

During yesterday’s session, the ministerial cabinet discussed 60 issues including the reorganisation of the Environment Ministry. Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri has already commented on the issue and said that following the reorganisation, the ministry would have strict control of its operations and it would run a very strict policy in environmental protection. The PM said the division of natural resource registration and licensing would be separated from the ministry structure, and the ministry itself would focus on controlling the protection of the environment. The division of the coastal reinforcement service will be also separated from the ministry and merge into the ministry of regional development and infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said the government has already submitted a draft law on the environmental ministry reorganisation to the parliament for adoption. (Rustavi 2)

Russia begins Roki tunnel reconstruction

Russia has begun to repair the Roki Tunnel as the part of the trans-Caucasian motorway reconstruction project. They are presently constructing a new alternative tunnel in order to avoid traffic obstructions to the occupied South Ossetia region of Georgia.

A video of the reconstruction works has been released by various Russian TV companies. Specialists say the Roki tunnel needs to be rehabilitated as the leakage of ground water is a serious threat to traffic safety, especially in winter. A widening of the tunnel is also planned as part of the reconstruction.

The Russian authorities say reconstruction work on the Roki tunnel will begin after summer 2012, when the alternative tunnel is open. (Rustavi 2)

Indian businessmen interested in Georgia

Indian business people are interested in Georgia – several representatives of the Indian business-elite attended a business conference held in Mumbai, where the Georgian Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Vera Kobalia and the Minister of Finance, Kakha Baindurashvili spoke about the economic environment in Georgia and the economic priorities of the country including tourism, energy and agriculture.

The conference participants agreed that a delegation of Indian businessmen would visit Georgia in March to discuss specific projects of cooperation with the Georgian authorities.

The business conference was organised by the Association of Indian Business Chambers and Rakia-Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Arsoshvili visits Chicken Farm

Governor of Shida Kartli region, Zurab Arsoshvili visited a poultry farm employing 40 local residents, in the village Nosta yesterday.

The farm, which has been operating for 2 years produces incubatory eggs and supplies nearly every poultry farm in Georgia. It currently has three incubators and will soon get two more; it raises 10,800 chickens per annum.

Four months ago a greenhouse for the cultivation of tomatoes was also erected on the farm. (Prime-News)

Returned Emigrants Unemployed

Zviad Kushitashvili, head of the NGO “Georgian Emigrants” told InterPressNews that many Georgian emigrants returned to Georgia in response to Mikheil Saakashvili’s statement, hopeful in the president’s promise on employment, but they have not been able to find jobs.

“Our NGO was set up in March of 2010 and has 1800 members – emigrants who returned to Georgia. All of them trusted Mikheil Saakashvili’s words and returned to their homeland, but President didn’t keep his promise and they are unemployed,” Zviad Kushitashvili said. (Interpressnews)