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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 26
Georgian soldier dies in Afghanistan

The Ministry of Defence has expressed its condolences over the death of Sergeant Valerian Khujadze. Sergeant Khujadze had been serving in the 31st Battalion in the province of Helmand within the NATO-led ISAF operation.

Khujadze was patrolling when he hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and died from his injuries. He had been serving in the Georgian Armed Forces since 2004, and had also participated in the peacekeeping mission in Iraq. In 2011, he was awarded the Medal for Participation in Peacekeeping Operations.

His family will receive a package of social assistance in accordance with Georgian legislation. (Rustavi 2)

GYLA condemns MP Azer Suleymanov’s statement

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association have condemned MP Azer Suleymanov’s statement in Parliament on Tuesday. The Association is concerned that his remarks regarding MP Jondi Baghaturia were ethnically-oriented. The Association calls on the MP to refrain from similar actions in the future.

"Azer Suleimanov’s statement was a verbal attack on the Armenian ethnic group, openly expressing hostility towards the ethnic community," the statement read.

The incident occurred between leader of Georgian Troupe Baghaturia and Suleimanov in Parliament, when Baghaturia called the recognition of the Cherkez genocide by Parliament a crime, and suggested that this set a precedent for the recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Georgian government. Suleimanov referred to Baghaturia as “Baghaturian”, an Armenian version of his surname. “Our Armenian colleague Mr. Jondi Baghaturian remains on the Armenian opinion,” Suleimanov said.

The verbal confrontation turned into a physical conflict that lasted for approximately five minutes.

Tbilisi hosting sixth international forum of economic development

Tbilisi is currently hosting the Sixth International Forum of Economic Development.

The two-day forum was opened by Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, with a theme of "City of the Future".

Representatives from more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa are attending the event. Among the guests are various city mayors, local government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, experts, and representatives of NGOs and civil society.

The Mayor will address attendees about the stable business environment in Tbilisi, important ongoing projects, and the city's future development strategy. Participants will discuss city governance forms, international contacts between cities, and living conditions in European, Asian, and African cities.

Several sessions will be held within the framework of the forum. (IPN)

Vashadze visits Spain

Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze has paid an official visit to Spain.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vashadze held a meeting with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margalio, in Madrid.

The existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation between Georgia and Spain, as well as Georgia’s cooperation with the European Union and NATO, were discussed at the meeting.

Preparation for the NATO Summit, due to be held in Chicago this May, was also on the agenda.

The men emphasized the importance of high-level visits between Georgia and Spain, investment of Spanish companies in Georgia, and regional security. (IPN)

Glass factory construction begins in Khashuri

A new glass factory is being built in the city of Khashuri, with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by President Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday.

Once construction is complete in18 months, the factory will be equipped with modern equipment, which will enable it to become competitive in the local market and export its products. The factory will also provide new jobs for local residents.

The project is being carried out by a Georgian-Azeri joint company, Inter Glass Georgia, which plans to invest 30 million GEL.

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Aleksandre Khetaguri also attended the event, as Georgia's Gas Transportation Company owns 40% of the project. (Rustavi 2)

Consultations with WB on Georgian agriculture underway in Washington

A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture is currently holding consultations with representatives of the World Bank regarding the development of agriculture sector in Georgia.

Deputy Minister Konstantine Kobakhidze has already met with the managers of the agriculture and regional sectors of the World Bank and discussed several projects that are already underway with the support of the WB.

The Georgian delegation and the World Bank are also continuing discussions on the long-term strategy of the country's agricultural development. (Rustavi 2)

Famous figures join door-to-door campaign

A number of popular public figures have decided to join the door-to-door campaign to update the voters list. Writer Davit Defi, director of the Theatre, Cinema, Music and Choreography Museum Giorgi Kalandia, singers Besik Kalandadze and Salome Bakuradze, and actor Davit Barbakadze announced their involvement at the Prime Time press club yesterday. They said that as the members of the civil society, they were interested to see how accurate the list of the voters really is. (Rustavi 2)