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The News in Brief

Friday, November 18
NGOs set up coalition For Freedom of Choice

Several NGOs have set up a coalition named For Freedom of Choice. The NGOs made an announcement at a press conference held at the Media House Palitra Thursday. The coalition consists of two non-governmental organizations and eight experts.

According to Magda Popiashvili, a member of the coalition, less than one year is left before the next parliamentary elections and establishment of a legal basis for a fair and competitive electoral environment is necessary. She said there were problems with media freedom and human rights. “To conduct free elections will be impossible unless these problems are solved. Active engagement of the public organizations and society is especially important in the process of forming a normal election process. Monitoring of the electoral environment should begin now and not after the elections", she said. The coalition will work out recommendations and send them to the relevant agencies. Coalition members say they will cooperate both with Georgian and international public organizations, political parties and the diplomatic corps for improvement of the electoral environment. (Interpressnews)

Sky Georgia’s NATO project suspended - Giorgi Kodua

The Sky Georgia company’s NATO project has been suspended since November 1, Giorgi Kodua, president of the airline company, told InterpressNews.

According to Kodua, the exact reason for the suspension of the project is unknown.

The government said that the EU had refused to transfer cargo to Afghanistan using Russian planes, Kodua said. According to him, he held a meeting in Brussels in July and the EU representatives did not have any claims against the Russian planes then.

"Recently, I had a meeting with Economy Minister Vera Kobalia and her deputy Giorgi Karbelashvili, who said the EU had rejected the service of the Russian planes. But when I asked for an official document, they could not produce it ", Kodua said.

Giorgi Kodua plans to provide information in this regard to the European Commissioner for Transport during his planned visit to Georgia in the near future. The Sky Georgia company had been transferring cargo to Afghanistan within the framework of the NATO project. (Interpressnews)

Somali pirates release new video about captured Georgian sailors

Somali pirates have released new a video about captured Georgian sailors via YouTube. As Nazi Kakhaberidze, a wife of the captured captain told InterpressNews 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish sailors have been in an extremely difficult situation for almost 15 months now. She said the government was ignoring this issue. ‘The government pays no attention to the issue at all. We held a rally in front of the Adjarian government in Batumi 3 days ago, but no one arrived to talk with us. Instead, police made us leave the area’, said Kakhaberidze who added that the company where the sailors were employed had gone out of business. Somali pirates seized a Greek ship, with 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish sailors on board, in September 2010. (Interpressnews)

Katie Marton`s book in Georgian presented at Georgian embassy in US

Presentation of the book The Enemies of the People by Katie Marton, spouse of Richard Holbrook, was held at the residence of Georgian Ambassador to the United States in Washington on Wednesday. The book is about the Soviet tyranny in Hungary and it was published in the Georgian language by Ilia University. The preface to the book has been written by the president of Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili wrote that The Enemies of the People is one of those books which recognizes the national and personal aspiration towards freedom and the peril people face on this road. Saakashvili says the story described in the book was painfully familiar to Georgian people.

At the end of the presentation, Katie Marton was decorated with the Order of Saint George on behalf of the Georgian government. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party plans to rally on Saakashvili`s birthday

Labour Party of Georgia plans to continue rallies with the demand for the resignation of the government Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the party, announced at a briefing outside the parliament. He said the resistance rallies will be held permanently.

`At 3 p.m. on December 21, 2011, yet another rally of resistance will be held here, outside the parliament, where we are expecting everybody, who wants to disrupt the birthday of the tyrant Saakashvili, but those who want to congratulate him, should stay at home,` Natelashvili said. (Rustavi 2)