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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 16
Obama will skip APEC summit in Russia

US President Barack Obama will not attend a major summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Russia, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced on Monday.

Carney has abstained from giving a reason for the decision, however, he noted that despite good relations between Russia and the United States, issues still remain on which they have differences. He added these differences should not affect bilateral relations.

The White House confirmed that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will attend the APEC summit in Vladivostok scheduled for September.

Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet at the G20 summit in Mexico in June and have their first face-to-face meeting since Putin was elected president for the second time. (Rustavi 2)

Presidential administration explains Davit Gareji controversy

Presidential spokesperson Manana Manjgaladze has explained the recent border controversy at the Davit Gareji monastery complex in Kakheti.

The Georgia-Azerbaijan inter-governmental commission continues to work on demarcation of the border. She said that the majority of the border had already been negotiated, with just a few problematic parts left.

"We are working intensively on these parts along with our Azeri friends," Manjgaladze commented, calling on Georgians to be careful.

Since May 6, clergymen have reported Azeri border guards at Udabno Monastery, a part of the Davit Gareji monastery complex, preventing worshippers from entering the grounds. (IPN)

Chinese language program to launch in Tbilisi

The Ministry of Education and Science will bring ten volunteer teachers from China to start a pilot program Chinese language instruction in public schools. The program will be launched in ten Tbilisi schools to start. It will be free for interested students and the decision to enroll their children in the class will be up to parents.

The ten teachers, who will arrive in Georgia in August 2012, will work within the Teach and Learn with Georgia program and will be offered the same contract as English-language teachers. (Rustavi 2)

Examination headquarters created at Education Ministry

The Ministry of Education and Science has created the Entrance and School Certification Examination headquarters for the 2011-2012 academic year. The headquarters will be responsible for conducting school certification and unified entrance exams.

The headquarters is chaired by Education Minister Dimitri Shashkin. The members of the headquarters held their first working meeting today and discussed technical and logistic issues of the examinations. Similar working meetings will be held regularly. (Rustavi 2)

Deputy Foreign Minister meets with Czech counterpart

First Deputy Foreign Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze held a meeting with his Czech counterpart, Jiri Schneider, where the two men discussed a wide range of issues concerning bilateral and multilateral relations.

Schneider expressed his support for Georgia's integration within European and Euro-Atlantic structures, and both he and Vashakidze emphasized the significance of the need to further intensify economic relations between Georgia and the Czech Republic. The two also discussed various issues concerning the wider region. (IPN)

Tbilisi City Hall releases statement with regard to Georgian Dream incident

Tbilisi City Hall has released a statement with regard to Monday’s clash between a Georgian Dream activist and the deputy governor of Isani-Samgori.

"On May 14, a conflict took place between a Georgian Dream activist [Tato Galdava ] and the deputy governor of the Isani-Samgori district of Tbilisi. The activist angered the deputy governor. A verbal confrontation was followed by physical conflict. The deputy governor of Isani-Samgori district, Besik Gazdeliani, was participating in rescue efforts when the conflict took place. He rendered assistance to several persons. Despite all this, Tbilisi City Hall assumes his reaction to the outrage was unjustifiable and strictly warns all employees of City Hall to avoid similar situations and refrain from responding with anger. In addition, we call on activists of political parties to refrain from outraging others," the statement read.

Video depicting the confrontation has been released by the Georgian Dream press service. (IPN)