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The News in Brief

Monday, May 16
Statement of the Patriarchate of Georgia

The Patriarchate of Georgia has made a statement regarding the planned meeting between some Abkhaz religious and secular persons in Sokhumi.

According to the statement, the motive for the meeting is seemingly part of an internal confrontation. ‘All processes underway in Abkhazia, especially the ones related to the church, are important for us. Confrontation within the Abkhaz Orthodox Church is painful for us. We appeal to the participants of the meeting to separate themselves from processes inspired by outside forces.”

A meeting was held yesterday in Akhali Atoni, Abkhazia. The future of the Abkhaz Orthodox Church was being determined at the meeting. “Apsnipress” informs that priest of Akhali Atoni St. Svimon Kananeli temple Andrey Ampar had amde another statement. He said that the issue of the Abkhaz church's autocephaly must be resolved. Ampar considers that this needs a combined effort.

Andrey Ampar says that by ousting educated and independent thinking priests from Abkhazia, they are losing precious staff. He expressed his indignation that priest Efrem Vinogradov sent by Russia’s patriarchy to Atoni monastery, has not been introduced to the monastery and only a few knew about his mission in Abkhazia.

Wine Festival opens in Tbilisi, Georgia

A Wine Festival took place in Tbilisi on Saturday with events taking place in the Ethnographic Museum. Twenty companies and forty family productions presented their own wines at the festival and the Tbilisi Mayor was among those enjoying a wide variety of Georgian wine.

Georgia`s Agriculture Minister Bakur Kvezereli opened the festival and said the festival is a good opportunity for buyers to get acquainted with Georgian wine producing companies.

"At this festival buyers will be able to get acquainted with companies and taste these wines for free. As for the companies, this is a good chance to advertize", Kvezereli said.

The festival was organized by the Wine Club.

Wine made in Alaverdi Monastery in Kakheti Region of Eastern Georgia was also represented at the festival.

Over 3000 people, including foreign tourists, visited the festival.

Participants of the festival were granted special certificates and gifts by the Wine Club.

This is the second time the event has taken place in Georgia and after a successful start, the festival will be held on the second Saturday of May every year.
(Rustavi 2)

Economic Prosperity Initiative project presented

United States has allocated a USD 40 mln grant to Georgia, which is intended for the development of private sector and the growth of competitiveness in Georgian business.

The main goal of the project of the Economic Prosperity Initiative is to create more new jobs in the country, attract investments and grow economic productivity.

The four-year long program is being implemented by USAID in Georgia. Georgian Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development, Vera Kobalia and the US ambassador to Georgia, Mr. John Bass attended the presentation of the project at the Holiday Inn on Friday.
(Rustavi 2)

Damage inflicted on villages of Kakheti Region being counted

Representatives of local municipalities are counting the cost of damage inflicted on two districts of Kakheti Region in Eastern Georgia. The hail storm that lasted for half an hour on Friday inflicted serious damage on Kvareli and Telavi districts.

Seven villages of Telavi district have been particularly badly affected. A large amount of vineyards, fruit gardens and annual plants have been destroyed there.

Local residents are asking for help. Special commissions evaluating the damage inflicted on the villages are continuing to work on the ground.

Locals claim that their entire harvest has been destroyed.
(Rustavi 2)

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia ll blesses school-leavers

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia ll has blessed school-leavers at the Trinity Cathedral today.

He delivered a special prayer for them.

‘You think life is very easy. However, when your dreams do not come true, you become desperate. Now you are trying to become students. I wish you all achieve your goals. But if you don’t, you should not be depressed. It is not a tragedy’, Illia ll stated.

According to the Patriarch, the life of a person is a hard process. ‘The main thing is to choose the right way. When one believes in God, when one prays and says confessions, God will help him/her’, the Patriarch said.