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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 29
Catherine Ashton to Meet Georgian President

Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will meet Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili within the framework of the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw.

The above-mentioned statement was made to journalists at a meeting behind closed doors, InterpressNews correspondent Diana Trapaidze reports from Brussels.

EU officials told journalists: "a meeting between Catherine Ashton and Mikheil Saakashvili has already been scheduled. Georgia is one of the leading countries among the Eastern Partnership member states. I want to inform you that we have already decided to launch negotiations on free trade with Georgia. We hope the political atmosphere will become more transparent in Georgia. The dialogue between the government and the opposition is very important for us.

To the journalist’s question what would be changed after the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin, the representatives of the EU replied: ‘It is not the best news for Georgia. We doubted it would have happened. The situation is more obvious now. I think nothing will change positively. Russia is our strategic partner. We’ll try to persuade Moscow that the Eastern Partnership is not against them.’

The Eastern Partnership Summit will be held in Warsaw on 28-29 September. (Interpressnews)

Georgia Beats Romania 25:9

Georgia has beaten Romania 25:9. Mamuka Gorgodze scored the only try as Georgia overcame Eastern European rivals Romania in the Rugby World Cup series.

Openside flanker Gorgodze crossed on 56 minutes as fly-half Merab Kvirikashvili kicked 17 points and Malkhaz Urjukashvili added a late penalty.

For Romania, Marin Dumbrava slotted two penalties and Florin Vlaicu just one.

The Georgian rugby team held the third match in the Rugby World Cup series in New Zealand today. The next match will be held against Argentina on 2 October. (Interpressnews)

Orthodox Church, Ministry of Health Sign Agreement on Cooperation

The Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Healthc have singed an agreement on cooperation. The agreement was signed by Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II and Health Minister Andria Urushadze.

According to the agreement, the Church and the Ministry are ready to cooperate in: assistance to socially vulnerable children, establishment of state standards for taking care of children, taking measures to promote the availability of state programs, informing society about the role of medical insurance, the establishment of a healthy way of life, the organization of joint events with the participation of the Patriarchate and the Ministry.

After signing the agreement, Ilia II presented a gift to the Health Minister. (Interpressnews)

Irakli Alasania Accuses Defence Ministry of Murder of 57-year-old Veteran

Irakli Alasania, leader of the Free Democrats party, has accused employees of the Defence Ministry of the detention and murder of 57-year-old veteran Sergo Tetradze. In this regard, Alasania made a statement in front of the Defence Ministry. He demanded Bacho Akhalaia, Defence Minister, and Megi Kardava, head of the Intelligence Department, to be called to account.

According to Alasania, Sergo Tetradze was detained at home on 17 September. Later, his family members were told he died of a heart attack in prison.

Alasania says Tetradze’s body had signs of violence on it. He demanded an investigation into the case.

He also called on the media to spread information about victims of violence.

‘Despite the fact that many worthy people work at the Defence Ministry, the agency is headed by executors,’ Alasania said. (Interpressnews)

Agriculture Ministry Sums Up `Maize Program`

The governmental program aiming to promote the growth of the maize harvest in the country turned out effectively - the authorities of the Agriculture Minister announced at a briefing held today, where they summed up the `maize program`. According to the current statistics, the area of maize fields in Georgia has grown by 65% this year and the harvest per hectare has been doubled. The expected harvest of maize this year in Georgia is 464,800 tons. Georgia plans to export maize for the first time. The authorities say the program`s scale will increase next year and it will be focused on export mostly. (Rustavi 2)

Spanish Police Detain Two Georgians for Armed Assault

Spanish police have arrested two Georgian nationals in Madrid. According to official reports, they are both members of a Georgia-Russian mafia network, who assaulted the family of a local businessperson trying to extort 70,000 dollar from his family.

According to the investigation, the robbers waited for the businessman outside their house and caught his wife and daughter, who left the building. They dragged them both inside the house and demanded 70,000 dollar from the businessman. Luckily, the businessman managed to click the security alarm button.

The police and the civil guards appeared at the scene of the crime and detained the robbers.

The driver, who took the robbers to the place of the crime, was released from the court hall, while the two Georgians have been sent to custody. (Rustavi 2)