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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 12
Foreign Ministry sends diplomatic note to Russia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent an official diplomatic note to the Russian Federation through the embassy of Switzerland, regarding the graves of the Bagrationi family, a Georgian royal dynasty.

The Georgian government is requesting a halt to construction on the Vsvesviatkoe cemetery.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze said on Monday that the government is attempting to obtain complete information about work taking place on the graves and, if it is confirmed, the Russian administration will be asked to stop the construction.

“Afterwards, we’ll ask Russia to raise the issue of transferring the remains,” Kalandadze said.

High-ranking Russian officials have discovered illicit construction in the vicinity of a temple constructed by Queen Darejan where Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani and other historical Georgians are buried. The temple was built between 1733-1736.

There has been no permission granted for the construction, and the temple is on Russia's list of protected monuments. (IPN)

Foreign Minister discusses cooperation with Dutch counterpart

Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze discussed cooperation issues at a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Uri Rozenthal.

The two ministers also discussed the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago. Vashadze said it is very important to agree on all significant details of the summit agenda with partner countries.

The men also spoke about the prospects of various joint economic projects, and bilateral relations in various spheres, including culture. (Rustavi 2)

Disabled persons employed by Revenue Office

The Revenue Office of the Ministry of Finance has hired 20 disabled persons. Most of them will work with taxpayers, while others will work in the office itself.

This is a pilot project, and the disabled persons will be employed for a trial period. If the project is successful, they will be brought on with permanent contracts. The Revenue Office plans to implement similar projects in the regions soon. (Rustavi 2)

Abkhaz girl to undergo surgery in Tbilisi

An 11-year-old girl from the breakaway region of Abkhazia will undergo heart surgery at the Joen Hospital in Tbilisi.

Iana Iashfba from Tkvarcheli is receiving the operation with funding from the government of Georgia.

The head of the Abkhaz government in Georgia, Gia Baramia, visited the girl yesterday and presented her with candies and Easter gifts. (Rustavi 2)

CEC to review Labour Party's petition

Georgia's Central Election Commission will review a petition from the Labour Party, which demands a referendum on Georgia's participation in the ISAF Afghan mission, to be held alongside the parliamentary elections this fall.

The Commission will publish its decision on May 4. (Rustavi 2)

Video conference Tbilisi- Washington held at US embassy

Representatives of Georgian NGOs discussed the upcoming elections and the state of Georgia's civil society during a video conference between Tbilisi and Washington, hosted by the American embassy.

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association, Fair Elections and International Society of Democracy, and Transparency International Georgia were all in attendance.

They answered questions from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas O. Melia and Senior Vice President of IREX, Paige Alexander.

The video conference was in advance of the meeting of the Democratic Group planned for the next week in Washington. The Democratic Group is one of the four groups formed under the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter. (Rustavi 2)

Unique discovery in Khovle

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient city in the village of Kholve, near Kaspi that could prove to be a groundbreaking find.

The city is surrounded by a high stone fence decorated with clay sculptures of horses and Aries. Inside is a bread-making facility called a tonne, clay throwing equipment, and other structures, including chapels and workshops. Scientists say the discovery dates back to the sixth century CE.

Archeologists explain that this is a landmark discovery, as the find is from a 1 100-year transition period between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, which is arguably the most important epoch in the development of civilization.

Austrian scientists intend to arrive in Georgia soon in order to join the second phase of excavation. (Rustavi 2)