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The News in Brief

Friday, March 16
Davit Bakradze met with Jerusalem Patriarch

Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Davit Bakradze discussed the issue of handover the Monastery of Cross in Jerusalem at the meeting with the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III yesterday. Davit Bakradze introduced the position of the Georgian government to the leader of the Jerusalem`s Church and spoke about the significance of the Monastery`s return in Georgian management.

Patriarch of Jerusalem expressed his readiness to join the negotiations, which is quite a long-term process.

After the meeting, Georgia parliament speaker visited the Monastery of Cross. (Rustavi 2)

President`s letter of condolence to Belgian people

President of Georgia has expressed his deepest condolence regarding the road accident that occurred in Switzerland. A tour bus carrying schoolchildren home from a class trip slammed head-on into a tunnel wall in the Swiss Alps, killing 22 Belgian students and six adults. Mikheil Saakashvili has expressed his condolence to the family of the crash victims and Belgian people.

`I am shocked with the tragedy that happened to Belgian people. In these hardest minutes, I want to express the support of sympathy of Georgian people. Accept my sincere condolence. We support all of you, especially the families of the victims and the injured,` says the letter of the president published on the official website. (Rustavi 2)

President hosted governmental delegation of Kyrgyzstan

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili hosted the governmental delegation of Kyrgyzstan today and introduced the reforms carried out in Georgia in recent years and their results.

Vice Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Gulnara Asimbekova, who chairs the delegation, hailed Georgian reforms adding Kyrgyz government should share this experience.

The guests were particularly interested in the measures carried out against corruption, reforms in the education, health care, social and service sectors. The sides agreed on the enhancement of relations and cooperation in these sectors and pledged to intensify work in this direction.

Kyrgyz delegation consists of Ministers of Health, Education, Social Assistance, Youth, Labour and Employment.

Within the three day visit, the guests visited renovated Batumi, Adjara Region. (Rustavi 2)

Law on State Secrecy to be amended

Law on State Secrecy of Georgia will be amended - the plans of the government of Georgia in regards with the occupied territories will become confidential. According to the draft bill, reports on possible threats and the ways of their evasion is included among the state secrets. The plans of the government of Georgia and various ministries about the activities in regards with the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region is also granted the state of state secret, as its publicity may affect state interests.

The new draft bill has been prepared by the staff of the State Security Council. (Rustavi 2)

Two Georgian citizens, suspected of stealing 170,000 euros, detained in Istanbul

Two Georgian citizens, suspected of stealing 170,000 euros, were detained in Istanbul, Turkish agency reports . According to the agency, the suspects stole the money from a car owned by a Turkish businessman a few months ago in Ankara.

The suspects deliberately damaged the tires of the businessman’s car and stole the money when the businessman entered a car repair shop.

An investigation has been launched into the case for a few months.

Turkish police have not identified the suspects yet. (Interpressnews)

Conservative Party leader slams Chamber of Control

Leader of the Georgian Conservative Party Zviad Dzidziguri accuses the Chamber of Control of Georgia of exceeding its authority. Dzidziguri says the methods of monitoring the financial activities of political unions is carried out with rough violation of human rights, when the Chamber of Control authorities summon ordinary members of the political parties and interrogate them with violations.

Dzidziguri said at the briefing today that the Chamber of Control should pit questions not to the activists of political parties, but to their leaders. (Rustavi 2)

Zviad Dzidziguri not ruling out conducting early parliamentary elections

Zviad Dzidziguri, a representative of the Georgian Dream coalition, does not rule out early parliamentary elections. ‘Psychical state of the government and Mikheil Saakashvili is so hard that I think they will not be able to endure till October’, Dzidziguri told journalists and named the President’s emotional speech in Telavi as a motive for his doubt.

According to him, if elections are appointed by May, it will not change anything for the Georgian Dream, as the coalition will be ready for elections by that time. (Interpressnews)

Paata Davitaia lays wreath at the memorial of national heroes

Georgia’s Deputy Chairman of Parliament and Leader of "European Democrats” Paata Davitaia laid a wreath at the memorial of national heroes perished for the territorial integrity of Georgia . He also lit candles for the eternal memory of the heroes.

‘’March 15-16, 1993 is a day of victory of the Georgian Army. On this day, the Georgian Army retaliated against the big attack of Russian troops at Tamishi. We every year honor the memory of these heroes”, said Paata Davitaia. (Interpressnews)