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The News in Brief

Monday, March 21
Russia to use all possible ways to enter WTO: Zhirinovsky

Russia is going to explore all possible options to enter World Trade Organization and Georgia should not impede them in this, leader of Russia`s liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky told Region TV.

Zhirinovsky said the world is facing World War III and an economic crisis, therefore, Georgia is going to ask for Russian integration into WTO very soon.

The political leader said his party does not support Russia's` integration into WTO, although as the whole world has integrated into the organization Russia has to do so as well.

Zhirinovsky also said he is not interested in the independence of Abkhazia or South Ossetia or in Georgia, but the main thing is that neither Abkhazia and South Ossetia or Georgia stand between Turkey and Russia.
(Rustavi 2)

Eka Beselia: prisoners need solidarity

Eka Beselia, head of the political movement "Solidarity for Prisoners of conscience" said she is declaring solidarity to all prisoners detained illegally and noted that, by world standards, Georgia has a very large amount of prisoners.

"It is impossible to tolerate the present situation in terms of prisoners' treatment. People have to declare their solidarity to the imprisoned people. According to the lists, Georgia is in 51st place among the countries with the number of prisoners but in fact the number of prisoners in Georgia is far higher.

"They said that in total the number of prisoners reached 23 600, in fact this figure is higher.

On Saturday at the Cinema House, protest actions were held in support of prisoners in Georgia. The protest action "I am a prisoner as well" was organized by the movement of Public Resistance.

Georgian Infrastructure Minister visits Armenia

The Georgian Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Ramaz Nikolaishvili has paid an official visit to the Republic of Armenia. Within the visit, the minister held meetings with the President and Prime Minister of Armenia.

Nikolaishvili also met with Armenia`s Minister for Transport and Communications. A memorandum was signed at the meeting, according to which Georgian road companies are expected to engage in the construction of roads in Armenia.

The two sides also agreed on holding joint conferences, seminars and qualification trainings.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia`s Economy Minister visits France

Georgia`s Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development is paying an official visit to France. Vera Kobalia held meetings with representatives of Cabinet of Ministers of France and the country`s leading companies.

The French side promised to assist Georgia in the sectors of agriculture, production of organic foods, hydro energy and tourism.

The sides stressed the significance of attracting investments to Georgia and the support of French business for the country at the meeting.

In May, France`s representative delegation is expected to visit Georgia and, prior to this, the French Transport Minister plans to arrive in Tbilisi.
(Rustavi 2)

Abkhazians still choose Georgians as marriage partners

Abkhazians believe Georgians are the best partners for marriage. The information was revealed in the poll conducted in Ajara region about the ethnic identity of Abkhazians. The results of the investigation were discussed at the sitting of the Parliamentary Commission for Territorial Integrity. Among the questioned Abkhazians, 46% have a Georgian mother and another 46% have Abkhazian mother, 8% of the questioned Abkhazians have Turkish and Russian mothers.

The poll reveals that the Abkhazian language is a spoken language not only among Abkhazian but also among their Georgian mothers. At the same time the level of knowledge of the Abkhazian language is low among children. This is caused by the fact that the spoken language in such families is Georgian, after this language they will talk Russian before speaking Abkhazian.

They believe the most valuable quality of an Abkhazian man is his courteousness. They consider themselves as Caucasians and believe that they have common genetics with Georgians. The closest people for Abkhazians are Georgians and Russians and some of them believe Armenians are close as well.

The questioned Abkhazians said they do not wish the international community to distinguish them with any quality and to consider them as an exotic event.

Georgian schoolchildren express support to Japanese people

Georgian schoolchildren arrived on Saturday at the Japanese embassy in Tbilisi to express their condolences over the devastating earthquake and tsunami that took place in Japan.

About a hundred teens assembled outside the embassy and brought flowers and cards to express their support to their Japanese peers.

The Deputy Education Minister of Georgia and school principals also joined the students in expressing condolences and support to the Japanese people.
(Rustavi 2)