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The News in Brief

Thursday, March 15
Patriarch to Putin: Georgia will never get over losing Abkhazia and S. Ossetia

Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II has congratulated Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin on his recent electoral victory.

The Patriarchate of Georgia released a letter of congratulation sent to the Patriarchate of Moscow.

"Your Excellency, Mr. President! Receive our congratulations on your election as the President of Russia. We believe that your vast experience will contribute to strengthening peace and prosperity in your state," it reads.

"Russians and Georgians share the same religion," the letter continued, "which connects us to each other, but neither Georgia nor our church will ever put up with the loss of the Abkhazeti and Tskhinvali regions. However, we think that despite all difficulties it is possible to restore good relations between Georgia and Russia, which will happen only if historical justice prevails. We are sure that sooner or later the territorial integrity of Georgia will be restored, but it will be good if it happens during your governance. We wish you health and further revival of your country". (Interpressnews)

Urushadze may be replaced with Chiaberashvili

Minister of Health and Social Protection Andria Urushadze may be replaced by Zurab Chiaberashvili.

As InterPressNews reports, Urushadze’s relationship with the opposition is disapproved of, and the parliamentary majority does not like that he often receives criticism and “blushes” as a result.

Urushdze has not been informed about possible changes, and declined to comment.

“I discussed the social package in Parliament. [As for] what will be tomorrow, as it appears, you know better than me,” he told journalists Tuesday.

Urushadze was appointed Minister on August 13, 2010.

Chiaberashvili is characterized as a good manager, and has been Georgia’s ambassador to the Swiss confederation and Lichtenstein since March 4, 2011. (Interpressnews)

Mariam Makhniashvili`s funeral planned for Saturday

The funeral of Mariam Makhniashvili, the Georgian-Canadian girl who disappeared in 2009, is planned for this Saturday.

The mother of the girl, whose skeletal remains were found in Toronto three years after her disappearance, told local media that details are currently being arranged. The family has asked for a temporary release of Makhniashvili's father from prison to attend the funeral. Vakhtang Makhniashvili is currently serving a six-year sentence for stabbing three people.

Makhniashvili’s remains were found beneath a highway overpass last month. Police believe that the teenager fell to her death. Her death is not considered suspicious or a homicide. (Rustavi 2)

Iranian murder suspect to serve his sentence in Georgia

Iranian citizen Navid Nou Bahar Deilmma is currently under preliminary imprisonment after facing a charge of murder.

Deilamma, who if convicted will serve his sentence in Georgia, was detained hours after killing Iranian businessman, Maksud Bedustan. The murder occurred in the victim's Tbilisi office.

The suspect has already pled guilty. Police found a portable computer and mobile telephone belonging to the victim during a search of the suspect.

Bedustan had run a business in Tbilisi for the past 11 years. (Rustavi 2)

Lithuania does not recognize Abkhaz elections

Lithuania does not recognize the recent parliamentary elections in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

An official statement was published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania.

"Lithuania reiterates its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders and recalls that the EU does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework within which elections have taken place on March 10th in the region of Abkhazia," read the statement.

The government of Lithuania also emphasized the importance of the Geneva International Discussions in ensuring security and stability in the region. "Only after a negotiated peaceful solution to the conflict is reached, in agreement of all parties involved, can any kind of elections in the region of Abkhazia be legitimate," the Ministry affirmed. (Rustavi 2)

Sting concert benefited 81 cancer patients

Georgia's First Lady, Sandra Roelofs, has released a report of the work of her charitable fund.

The report says that the money received from a charitable concert performed by Sting in Batumi was entirely spent on treatment for individuals suffering from cancer.

Approximately 344,000 GEL was distributed to 81 patients by the fund, the Ministry of Health, and the Presidential administration. Four patients came from the breakaway region of Abkhazia. (Rustavi 2)

Two girls intoxicated with CO2

Two young girls were intoxicated with CO2 in Tbilisi Tuesday night.

Reportedly, the CO2 leaked from a poorly-installed gas water heater. One of the girls lost consciousness and injured her face.

Both girls have been transferred to the N5 Clinical Hospital in Tbilisi. Doctors say their conditions have improved after treatment. (Rustavi 2)