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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 17
Angelina Jolie Visited Georgian Soldiers in Hospital

Hollywood film star and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Angelina Jolie visited Georgian military servicemen in a military hospital in Germany, the MOD’s web site reports. Currently, two Georgian soldiers - the 32nd Battalion Company Commander of the III Infantry Brigade, Captain Aluda Seturidze and Corporal of the same Battalion Ednar Abuladze are undergoing medical treatment at a military hospital.

Georgian peacekeepers served under the US peace contingent in Helmand province within the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) peacekeeping mission.

In the NATO-led security operation the 32nd Infantry Battalion of Land Forces of GAF rotated with the 33rd Infantry Battalion step by step.

Georgians arrested for illegal travel to Greece

Fourteen Georgian nationals were detained in Greece for traveling to the country illegally. The illegal travelers were hiding in a special container installed in one of the international tour buses. The customs officers found them during the inspection at the border and the local police have already filed a criminal case. The driver of the bus was a citizen of Greece. He has also been taken to police for interrogation.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Nino Kalandadze has commented on the detention of illegal Georgians in Greece at the briefing today. She said the Ministry and the consulate of Georgia in Greece were working to obtain more information about the details of the incident.
(Rustavi 2)

International Crisis Group Discusses Two Possible Ways of Georgia’s Development

Two and a half years after the war with Russia, Georgia’s political life is increasingly turning towards preparations for the 2012-2013 elections and debates around divisions of power after a recent overhaul of the constitution- the web site of International Crisis Group reports.

The substantial amendments, which come into force in 2013 at the same time as President Mikheil Saakashvili steps down, will give much greater power to the Prime Minister. The next two years will go a long way to determining whether the country progresses toward a truly stable, modern democracy, or deteriorates into a fragile, pseudo-pluralistic and stagnating system”, the article reads.

It is noted that the government and political opposition movement need to use that crucial period to create public trust in democratic institutions. The best way to achieve this is by engaging in meaningful dialogue to ensure a fair election cycle, strengthened rule of law, economic stability and the legitimacy of the future government.

“Much speculation centres on the role Saakashvili will play after he leaves the presidency. Detractors allege that the constitutional amendments are intended to allow him to continue to dominate the country from the newly empowered position of prime minister. He denies this, says that he has not decided on his future course, and the amendments were not made for any specific individual”, International Crisis Group writes.

New information center opens in Tbilisi airport

A new information center has been opened in Tbilisi airport, which will assist visitors to plan tours to Georgia`s various regions before leaving the airport. The new centre will provide detailed information about hotels, sightseeing, tourist routes and a network of restaurants and transport options.

Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia and the head of Georgia`s Tourism Department, Maia Sidanomidze were in attendance at the presentation of the centre and the new security system of the airport, namely new metal detectors and scanners, which already operate.
(Rustavi 2)

Water distribution system affected in Tbilisi

Several districts of the capital have been left without water since yesterday - as the water distribution company Georgian Water and Powers explains, the non-stop rains and the swelling of the river Aragvi has damaged the main reservoir of the company, from which the water is supplied to the capital, causing problems in the water provision system and schedule.

`Georgian Water and Power is using all resources to stabilize the situation in the capital and regulate the water supply regime to various districts. Technical crews have been sent to the main reservoir to resolve the problems and resume water supply. The repair works are underway,` said the statement released by the GWP yesterday morning.
(Rustavi 2)