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The News in Brief

Friday, January 13
Grigol Vashadze to give Speech at Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze will address the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe , web page of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe informs.

Grigol Vashadze will address the assembly on 25 January, at 12:00 local time.

The Georgian Minister may answer the members’ questions.

Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe will be held in Strasbourg on 23-27 January. (Interpressnews)

Released sailors arrive in Kenya

The vessel taking fifteen Georgian sailors from Somali has arrived in the Mombasa Port of Kenya yesterday. Fifteen Georgian and three Turk sailors were released after 508-day captivity as a result of the negotiations conducted by the inter-departmental group chaired by the president of Georgia. The members of the group greeted the former hostages in the Mombasa port; sailors say they have no health problems and feel all right.

The sailors will arrive in Georgia by a special flight appointed by Airzena Air Company until January 14. The relatives are waiting for their family members in Batumi.

The released sailors departed from one of the most criminal sea ports of Harand Here a few days ago. (Rustavi 2)

Free Democrats complain about political pressure

Opposition party Free Democrats - Our Georgia complain about pressure on their party members in various regions of Georgia. Zurab Abashidze of the party made a corresponding statement at the briefing held outside the Constitutional Security Department today.

Abashidze said the pressure has become very frequent recently and it aims at obstructing the opposition party to intensify political activities in the regions. He said one the last facts of oppression occurred in Kakheti, where their regional representative Zurab Gamezardashvili was informed that a provocation could be organized against him aiming at his detention with fabricated charges.

`Our supporters, who are intensively involved in this battle, will never give up and this is our firm position and I believe in every brave Georgian, who intends to lead this battle to the end and no factor of scare works here,` Abashidze said. (Rustavi 2)

Flights depart Late due to Fog in Tbilisi International Airport

Eight flights departed late in Tbilisi International Airport due to fog . As InterPressNews was told by public the relations service of the airport, the flights departed from 20 minutes to an hour late.

“Eight flights were delayed due to fog, namely, Minsk, Munich, Baku, Alma-Ata, two flights to Kiev and Istanbul. Plane from the cities landed in Tbilisi airport late due to poor visibility, so flight from here were a bit later”, press service of the airport informs.

They inform that fog is still in the vicinity of the airport, though all the scheduled flights are on time. (Interpressnews)

Three Georgians arrested for robbery in Turkey

Three Georgian nationals have been arrested in Turkey with the charges of robbery. Reportedly, Davit Metreveli, Davit Chulukhadze and Tariel Maisuradze tried to steal leather jackets and denims from a trade centre, however, the security noticed the fact thanks to the video cameras installed in the store and detained them soon.

To avoid being detected by the metal detectors, the robbers have special bags covered with foil layer.

The detainees will be tried in Turkish court soon. (Rustavi 2)

Exclusive report from occupied Abkhazia by Rustavi 2

In an exclusive report from Georgia`s occupied region of Abkhazia Rustavi 2 TV-channel shows the current situation in the breakaway region. Cameraman of the Courier News shot the footage putting his own life at risk.

The footage shows the Church of St. George of Ilori, the Medieval, originally Georgian Orthodox Church in the village of Ilori, Abkhazia. The architectural monument of the 11th century has been completely defaced. The church with new metal-plastic window frames has its dome changed with a Russian one. Unique frescos inside the church have been deleted.

So long as Georgian specialists after the region`s occupation are not let into Abkhazia, the occupational forces have completely removed all signs confirming the Georgian origins from the monuments in the region.

Along with the unique Georgian monument, the footage also shows the infrastructures of several towns of the region. Only ruins have remained in Tkvarcheli, which used to serve as one of the main industrial centers of Abkhazia 20 years ago. Only 3 thousand locals are now living in the town inhabited with 22 thousand before the war in 1992-1993.

Only military bases are being intensively constructed in Abkhazia, especially Gali district. The Russian troops are constructing the military settlements on the sites of former Georgian houses. Some of the bases are constructed in the citrus plantations.

The footage shows another destroyed town in Abkhazia. Ochamchire is used only for conducting military trainings. The sanatoria, which used to host thousands of tourists before the war, are destroyed now and the beaches of the town are empty. (Rustavi 2)