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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 28
Abkhazia may become Autonomous Region of Russia – Raul Khajimba

Abkhazia is being deprived of a ‘basis of development’, Raul Khajimba, leader of the Abkhazian Forum of People’s Unity, told the ‘Nuzhnaia’ newspaper.

According to Khajimba, Abkhazians should strive for a change of the situation and the leadership in the country.

‘We are being deprived of a basis of development… national interests, security of the country. We may soon appear in the situation we had before independence. I don’t rule out Abkhazia becoming an autonomous region of Russia’, Khajimba said.

According to him, the society has a negative attitude towards the activities of the government. (Interpressnews)

Georgia-Russia relations discussed at American University

Georgia-Russia relations and the reasons of the conflict between the two countries were discussed at the meeting held in the International Department of the American University in Washington on Tuesday.

The discussion lasted six hours and along with international experts, the Georgian ambassador to the United States, Temur Iakobashvili was also in attendance. Experts announced that the August war should not be discussed separately and that the events leading up to the armed conflict should also be considered when discussing the problem.

The representative of the Atlantic Council Damon Wilson spoke about the provocations, which Russia used against Georgia to provoke armed conflict there. Temur Iakobashvili in his turn said the main factor, that irritated Russia, was the success Georgia had without its support.

`Let me reveal the secret - Russians don`t like a successful Georgia. That is the challenge that they have, not Saakashvili not Iakobashvili or anybody else, successful Georgia without oil and gas, with no corruption and with transformation that we had is a direct threat to what Putin is trying to do in Russia. That is the problem not anything else. We have to understand that its not about Abkhazia and South Ossetia, if Georgia would stay fragmented, disorganized and failed, everything would be nice, because Russians have this very strange notion of organized chaos around them and since they don`t possess any soft power instruments, they believe the chaos will prevent the west from engaging in these nations and it will allow them sooner or later to come back,` Iakobashvili said. (Rustavi 2)

Economic Minister met with UNWTO Secretary General

Minister of Economic Development of Georgia Vera Kobalia met with the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai in Madrid. The sides assessed the situation in Georgia`s tourism sector and spoke about the possibilities of its further development.

Taleb Rifai proposed that the Georgian Minister should agree on joint projects, which would assist Georgian specialists to improve their experience and qualifications. They agreed to organize a series of international and regional forums and seminars in Georgia in 2011-2012 under the aegis of World Tourism Organization. (Rustavi 2)

Regular Flights to be fulfilled between Georgia and Kazakhstan

Regular flights will start between Georgia and Kazakhstan in a month, Vera Kobalia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told the Liters edition .

‘Flights will run between Tbilisi and Alma-Ata three times a week’, Kobalia said.

The Georgian government is expecting up to 3 million tourists this year, the National Agency for Tourism says. (Interpressnews)

Foreign Minister visited Armenia

On 26 April 2011, the Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze paid a working visit to the Republic of Armenia. In the frames of the visit, Mr. Grigol Vashadze held a meeting with his Armenian counterpart, Foreign Minister Edvard Nalbandyan.

The two discussed topical issues of cooperation between Georgia and the Republic of Armenia with emphasis on the necessity of further development of economic and trade links between the two countries, as well as strengthening the bilateral legislative basis. (Rustavi 2)

Online dating system in Georgian penitentiary

A system of online-video dating will be in place in Georgia`s prisons soon. The first trial date took place at the National Bureau of Probation today. The video program, which was introduced to Georgia`s penitentiary system, is the first of its kind.

The convicts, who serve their sentences for less grave crimes, will be able to have such dates three times a month and they should apply to the bureau a week earlier. The video dates will last 15 minutes and the convicts will have to pay 15 GEL per date.

The video date system will be imposed in the Ksani 11th and 15th prisons first and afterwards in all other prisons. (Rustavi 2)