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The News in Brief

Friday, June 15
GFF receives letter from FIFA

FIFA has replied to the letter sent by the Georgian Football Federation (GFF) to FIFA president Joseph Blatter on May 25. In it, the GFF administration demanded an explanation for Abkhazia's request to host international tournaments on disputed territory.

The Georgian Football Federation expressed its firm position that Georgia will not approve of the entry of the breakaway region into FIFA's jurisdiction and participation of this region in international tournaments held in the aegis of FIFA.

A letter sent by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke says that no official letter has been received by the organization from Abkhazia about hosting international tournaments.

"We confirm that to date, our services have not received any request relating to the possibility of the 'Republic of Abkhazia' to play international friendly matches against FIFA member associations. In this regard, we inform you that any petition in relation to the faculty of non-FIFA affiliates to make sporting contacts with FIFA members is assessed and considered in a strictly individual basis. The aforementioned being clarified, we stress that the situation surrounding the Football Federation of Kosovo is in any circumstance very different from the one described in your correspondence and does not constitute a precedent for any other case," the letter read. (Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili opens Medea health conference

President Mikheil Saakashvili opened a two day international conference on global health, Medea 2012, in Batumi yesterday.

Doctors from around the world are attending the conference, as well as Georgia's First Lady Sandra Roelofs, Minister of Labour, Health and Social Affairs Zurab Tchiaberashvili, and representatives of insurance companies.

President Saakashvili spoke about the reforms in the healthcare sector, construction and equipment of new hospitals, new qualifications for hospital personnel, and the availability of medical services.

Both Roelofs and Tchiaberashvili delivered speeches at the event. The Minister discussed the direction of healthcare reform and upcoming projects.

The participants of the conference visited Batumi and Keda hospitals, while Georgian doctors shared their experiences with local staff.

The first Medea conference was held in Washington in 2011. One of the initiators of the project is Sandra Roelofs. (Rustavi 2)

Burjanadze meets with OSCE Chair

Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, and leaders of the major opposition parties met with the OSCE Chair-in-Office, Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affaires Eamon Gilmore.

The subject of the meeting was the parliamentary elections scheduled for October, the press service of United Georgia told InterpressNews.

Burjanadze spoke about the worsening electoral environment in the country, and gave examples of pressure exerted on her party by the government. Last year’s May 26 rally – and the subsequent clash with police – was discussed at the meeting.

Gilmore emphasized the need for a fair and equal electoral environment for democratic elections. (IPN)

Georgian Dream demands bugging investigation

Opposition coalition Georgian Dream has demanded a detailed investigation into listening devices discovered in the apartment of Gia Khukhashvili, an advisor to coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Georgian Dream press speaker Maia Panjikidze said that Khukhashvili found the bugs, which are presumes to be listening devices, installed in his apartment through a hole drilled from the flat above his.

Khukhashvili says an investigation should be conducted, not only because of the installation of the devices, but also the illegal intrusion into his upstairs neighbour's home.

Georgian Dream plans to inform the diplomatic corps about the incident. (Rustavi 2)

CNN's Georgia series focuses on Iran and defense

CNN continues its series Eye On Georgia with an episode focused on Georgia-Iran relations and the booming defense industry.

Journalist Paula Newton sought to answer the question, Why is Georgia so attractive to Iranian tourists? She found that the growth in Iranian visitors to Georgia was thanks to a visa-free regime and geographic proximity.

CNN also aired an interview with an Iranian businessman, who hailed Georgia's business environment, calling it "perfect".

The second half of the episode was dedicated to Georgia's defense industry. It noted that Georgia has refused Russian-made arms since the August war in 2008, and has begun to produce its own. Newton also interviewed the Minister of Defense, who spoke about the development of the defense industry in Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Vice PM, Speaker meet with European students

Vice Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze met with members of the European Union of Democratic Students, who are visiting Georgia. The members of the organization are from 25 European states.

The students were informed about the reforms and innovations made across the country.

The delegation then visited Parliament to meet with Speaker Davit Bakradze and members of the United National Movement. (Rustavi 2)