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The News in Brief

Thursday, February 23
Week of Occupation observed at cadet memorial

Georgian politicians assembled at the memorial to Georgian cadets in the Tabakhmela Settlement outside Tbilisi, to commemorate the young men who died in the last fight for Georgia’s independence on February 25, 1921.

This is one of many events taking place to commemorate Georgia's Week of Occupation. (Rustavi 2)

OSCE High Commissioner visits Georgia

OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities, Knut Vollebaek, is visiting Georgia to monitor the conditions of minorities and the situation in Georgia's breakaway regions.

The High Commissioner has been holding meetings with members of the Georgian government, representatives of national minorities, and NGOs. The diplomat has already met with Minister of Reintegration Eka Tkeshelashvili.

At this time, he is unable to travel to Abkhazia or South Ossetia.

Vollebaek emphasized the need for international monitoring in the disputed regions, which would monitor protection of human rights beyond the current border line.

The Commissioner is planning another visit to Georgia this spring, where he will meet with representatives of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian governments, and prepare his report for the OSCE council in Vienna. (Rustavi 2)

Memorandum signed between internal ministries of Turkey and Georgia

The Turkish Minister of the Interior, Idris Naim Sahin, visited Georgia on Wednesday, along with a delegation consisting of the Deputy Minister of the Interior, Hasan Canpolat, Head of the Gendarmerie, Lieutenant General Fikret Demirtas, General Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Eyup Tepe, and Chair of the Special Operations Department of the Security Service, Cemil Tonbul.

Delegates met Ivane Merabishvili, Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia, and signed a memorandum on cooperation.

During their visit, the delegation familiarized itself with reforms of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and visited the Police Academy, the Service Agency, and newly constructed police buildings. (Interpressnews)

Minister for Diaspora Issues meets Greek counterpart

State Minister for Diaspora Issues, Papuna Davitaia, met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece and the Director of the Secretariat General of Greeks Living Abroad this week.

According to a statement released by the Ministry, officials discussed Diaspora issues and emphasized the importance of sharing experience in this area, as well as the need for deepening of cooperation.

Davitaia invited his Greek counterpart to take part in Diaspora Day events on May 27.

Davitaia was in Greece to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. (Interpressnews)

Situation remains tense in S. Ossetia

The political situation remains tense in breakaway South Ossetia, where the government is preparing for a repeat presidential election in March.

Interim president Vladimir Brovstev has urged lawmakers to dismiss the Prosecutor General. Brovtsev has said that the vast majority of the population demands the resignation of General Teimuraz Khugaev. His resignation was one of the key terms of the agreement signed by the winner of the previous presidential election, Alla Jioeva, and former President Eduard Kokoity. The document was signed after the results of the election were annulled by the Supreme Court.

Jioeva, who won the disputed election, reneged on the agreement and had planned an inauguration ceremony for February 10. However, on February 9 she was injured when police raided her headquarters in Tskhinvali. (Rustavi 2)

New Rights object to school merging in villages

Opposition party New Rights is objecting to the process of school mergers in Georgian villages. Party representative Manana Natchkebia said that most recently a public school was closed in the village of Letsitskhvaia, when it was merged with another school in the village of Khuntsa.

Natchkebia said that, as a consequence, most of the pupils can no longer go to school.

"Unfortunately, this has occurred not just in Letsitskhvaia, as the policy of the education ministry in recent years [has been to] merge village schools to reduce expenditures... This process reduces the availability of education," she remarked, calling on the government to review its policy of school optimization. (Rustavi 2)

Fines proposed for medical license violations

The Code of Administrative Violations, which regulates medical activities, may be amended to state that a medical institution will be fined unless it is able to provide medical services that meet the required government standards.

Doctors who work without a license or violate the terms of their license will be also fined.

The draft amendment to the Code was discussed at a session of the Health Care Committee of Parliament on Tuesday. (Rustavi 2)