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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 5
President’s Spokeswoman on Sarkozy Visit

'French President [Nicholas Sarkozy’s] visit to Georgia will serve as a cornerstone in the relations between Georgia and the EU,’ President Saakashvilis’s Spokeswoman Manana Manjgaladze said at a regular briefing today. According to Manjgaladze, Nicolas Sarkozy stood beside Georgia and the Georgian people during the August war in 2008. Sarkozy’s arrival in Georgia is proof of the distinguished and special support from France and the EU towards Georgia, she said.

‘We hope Georgian society will be convinced of this on Freedom Square on 7 October’, Manjgaladze added.

She refrained from making a comment on a journalist’s question about whether Russia’s affiliation with the World Trade Organization would be considered at the meeting between the French and the Georgian presidents.

The French president is to arrive in Georgia on 7 October. He will deliver a public speech in Freedom Square at 17:30. (Interpressnews)

Belarusian President Thanks Georgian, Azeri Presidents

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has thanked his country’s partners in the Eastern Partnership, who opposed the anti-Belarusian resolution at the summit in Warsaw.

"I thank my partners, friends and counterparts for tremendous support even in our absence. The Belarusian people will reciprocate," Lukashenko told reporters on Friday, commenting on the Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw. He said "the 27 EU-member states tried to make our friends, the other five republics, follow in their footsteps. Nothing happened. None of them supported the resolution, and it failed," said Lukashenko. He expressed special thanks to the presidents of Azerbaijan and Georgia, who "were the most active people who supported us in Europe."

The Belarusian president said that at Friday's summit, "we witnessed an attempt to apply certain instructive sanctions on us: look, we invite everyone at this level, and Belarus will be invited at a lower one," said Lukashenko. He recalled that the Belarusian ambassador in Warsaw was asked to act as the head of the delegation at the summit.

"They had not expected that, they thought we would keep knocking on the door, crying and asking for something," said Lukashenko.

"They tried to humiliate him [the ambassador], then we refused to participate in the summit at all. Then they made a statement on behalf of the other countries," said Lukashenko, though Armenia, Ukraine, Georgia, and Azerbaijan refused to support the resolution. Lukashenko said the EU then used arm-twisting against the Eastern Partnership member countries. A number of countries, he said, actively supported Belarus, saying that the Europeans were wrong in their behavior towards Belarus." I am very grateful to the Baltic States, Bulgaria and the others who deep down, and openly, support Belarus," said Lukashenko. (Interpressnews)

Rescue work continues in landslide affected area in Armenia

Search and rescue squads continued throughout the night at the landslide-affected area of Armenia’s Tavush Region. On October 2, a landslide occurred at Vanadzor-Bagratashen section—nearby Ayrum railway station’s bridge and close to Lchkadzor village. A130-meter-long and 60-meter-deep pile of terrain covered the road, rendering it completely impassable. A total of 35 vehicles were covered with earth as a result.

Five people have been declared missing, two of them are citizens of Georgia - father and son Arthur Hakobyan and Gurgen Hakobyan. The wife of the man has confirmed that her husband and son got out of the car to look for a way out of heavy traffic when the landslide struck and they disappeared. (Rustavi 2)

New Rights present new political program to voters in Adjara

The New Rights opposition party will participate in the parliamentary and local government elections in Adjara independently. The leaders of the party announced their political plans and presented their new program to supporters, voters and media in Batumi today, where they opened a new regional branch of the party. They also introduced the head of the branch Paata Mgeladze.

`Radicalism should be finished in Georgian politics, because it brought no profit either to the government or the opposition. Now it is time for subsequent, step-by-step politics, when we`ll gradually improve all our problems, from the development of the small business and industry, which is our priority, to the improvement of the health care and education sectors,` Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of the party announced. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party to rally before parliament on Oct 7

The Georgian Labour Party has called on its supporters to join a rally which the opposition party will hold on Rustaveli Avenue on October 7, 2011 - the very day when the French and Georgian presidents will be addressing Georgian people on Tbilisi`s main avenue. The leader of the party, Shalva Natelashvili, held a briefing outside parliament. He says the protestors will demand an end to the Saakashvili`s leadership and his political course.

`We are expecting every wholehearted patriot here, in front of the parliament, where we`ll hold a rally against Saakashvili`s rule and demand the completion of his political course. The tribune will be free for everybody,` Natelashvili said.

The Labour Party also hopes to collect supporters for a rally which they are going to hold in Washington on November 25th. (Rustavi 2)