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The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 31
Vera Kobalia – We Expect 3 Million Tourists This Year

Georgia expects 3 million tourists this year, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Vera Kobalia said in an interview with La Tribune. She says that economic growth in Georgia reached 6.5% this year, mainly caused by tourism development. “We expect 3 million tourists this year, there were 2.1 million in 2010. One of our priorities is developing winter tourism. We plan to purchase ATR airliners that will link Tbilisi with mountainous regions”, Kobalia said.

She said that Georgia cooperates with the company Poma, a provider of aerial lifts. “We’ll have planes, French cable cars, but we lack French tourists”, the Minister said. (Interpressnews)

So Called South Ossetian Embassy to Nicaragua Located in Tskhinvali

The so called South Ossetian embassy of Nicaragua is located in Tskhinvali, agency Res informs.

It was decided to open the embassy to establish “diplomatic relations” between Nicaragua and so called South Ossetia. The embassy residence was located in Tskhinvali and the so called President Eduard Kokoity appointed Namir Kozaev as ambassador. Kozaev is also ambassador of so called South Ossetia to Venezuela. (

Murder suspect arrested

Police have arrested a person suspected of murdering 18 year-old Giorgi Laliashvili. The murder occurred in Batumi Boulevard on August 23. Giorgi Laliashvili, who was the member of a Shavfarosnebi [Georgian national single combat art group] organization, was stabbed by Levan Ninua in his heart. The boy had an argument with six locals in the Batumi Boulevard, which ended in a bloody dispute and the murder of the boy from Tbilisi. Laliashvili died before being transferred to Batumi hospital. Police arrested Levan Ninua on Monday. (Rustavi 2)

U.S. Ambassador Celebrates Opening of Hydropower Plant in Shenako

On Wednesday August 31, U.S. Ambassador John Bass will join Alexandre Khetaguri, the Minister of Energy of Georgia, to celebrate the opening of the Shenako micro hydropower plant in the village of Shenako, Tusheti. The hydropower facility will provide clean, renewable energy to 60 families in the village, as well as to nearby border guard stations.

The U.S. Government provided technical assistance and over $87,000 in funding to the project over three years through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its implementing partner, WinRock International.

The electricity generated by the hydropower plant will encourage new economic opportunities, including development of the tourism industry in the remote and mountainous region. The plant can generate enough power to support Shenako and neighboring villages. Shenako has not had reliable access to electricity since 1988, when a transmission line was damaged.

The project was completed with significant contributions of time and labor from the community of Shenako and with the cooperation of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Georgia, which recently completed the transmission line to the village. Through this project and others, the U.S. Government is working to provide clean energy alternatives that create new economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for the people of Georgia. (GHN)

Visit of the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze and the Parliamentary Delegation to Singapore, Australia and New Zealand

On August 30, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze and the attending Parliamentary delegation will pay a working visit to Singapore. The meetings with the representatives of local business and investment circles will be held with the aim of sharing experience and attract extra investments to Georgia.

On September 2-4, the delegation will hold an official visit to Australia. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia will meet with the Speaker of the Australian Parliament, Mr. Harry Jenkins. Also, David Bakradze and the Parliamentary Delegation will hold meetings with the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade, Michael Danby and other Members of the Australian Parliament. Meetings with the Governor of the New South Wales, Maria Bashir are also scheduled.

On September 6-8, the Parliamentary Delegation will visit New Zealand. The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Bakradze will hold meetings with the Speaker of the Parliament of New Zealand, Lockwood Smith, with the Leader of Parliamentary Majority, Simon Power and other Members of Parliament. The meeting of Mr. David Bakradze with the Chairman of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade Committee, John Hayes, who will be the host of the Georgian Rugby Team at the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. The primary objective of the visits to Australia and New Zealand is to set bilateral contacts with the leading states of the Pacific Ocean region, which will facilitate support of territorial integrity of Georgia in the whole region and development of a non-recognition policy of the occupied regions. (