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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 15
Georgian FM Visits Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze is holding talks with Latvian leadership in Riga on January 14 after visiting Lithuania last week and before her trip to the Czech Republic on January 15.

In Riga she met her Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics, as well as Latvian President Andris Berzins and Speaker of the Saeima Solvita Aboltina.

“The parties discussed key issues of the Latvian-Georgian bilateral relations, the EU-Georgia and the [Georgia]-NATO relations, recent developments in international cooperation as well as the situation in Georgia’s domestic policy,” the Latvian Foreign Ministry said.

The Georgian Foreign Minister was in Lithuania on January 10-12 where she met with her counterpart Linas Linkevicius, President Dalia Grybauskaite and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius.

The Lithuanian President said after meeting with the Georgian Foreign Minister on January 11 that Vilnius was committed to supporting Georgia’s “path towards Western democracy.”

“It is very important for Georgia to maintain its direction and successfully implement the reforms that are essential to its people. Today Georgia should demonstrate its capacity to apply the norms and values of the European political life," President Grybauskaite said.

Yuval Fuchs – nothing has changed in our relations

Ambassador of Israel to Georgia Yuval Fuchs said Georgia’s support and recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state disappointed Israel, though nothing has changed in their relations. “I’ll repeat what I said then. I said that we were surprised and disappointed. It has been a month after the resolution was passed and the best we could do in this situation was that both parties agreed that we disagree on this issue. I also want to reiterate what I declared to the media on the first day of arriving here: I’m here to work on bilateral relations; I’ll continue to work on bilateral relations in political, cultural, economic and other fields. We don’t agree with Georgia’s decision but the fact is that this happened,” the ambassador told Kviris Palitra.

Fuchs promises that after the Israeli parliamentary elections, relations with Georgia will become more intense. The diplomat reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to Israel and the visit is expected in the beginning of the year. “The bilateral visits, despite their importance are not enough. Israel and Georgia should start a deeper political dialogue to have pragmatic and practical cooperation between us”, he said. The ambassador stated that the counties could share the experience in cultural relations.

US Ambassador visits former Georgian President

US Ambassador Richard Norland paid his courtesy call on former President Eduard Shevardnadze on January 10, at the former President’s residence in Krtsanitsi. “President Shevardnadze played a pivotal role in U.S.-Soviet relations and was instrumental in peacefully ending the Cold War,” Ambassador Norland said. “I was honored to have a chance to pay a call on him and to exchange views on the late Soviet period, when I served as a diplomat in Moscow, as well as on the difficult period in Georgia’s history in 1993, when I served on the CSCE Mission to Georgia,” the Ambassador added. The Ambassador wished former President Shevardnadze a Happy New Year, health and happiness.
(US Embassy to Georgia)

Ministry of IDPs has received over 1,200 IDPs since November 20

Davit Darakhvelidze established a special day for receiving IDPs since he became the Minister of IDPs. From November 20 Darakhvelidze and his deputies have received more than 1,200 IDPs. The ministry reports that they have managed to solve the problems of many IDPs. However, the eradication of more serious problems the IDP families are facing nowadays is also underway. “The minister provided the family with many children which had neither accommodation and could not pay for rent with a house in Samegrelo region. The lady accepted the proposal and moved to Senaki,” the ministry reports.

Minister Darakhvelidze meets with IDPs on Tuesdays, while his deputies receive them throughout the week from 13:00 to 17:00. Apart from the official dates, the minister and his deputies meet with IDPs in compact settlements in Tbilisi and regions on a daily basis to increase the level of communication, the exchange of information and ensure transparency of the ministry. The ministry says they aim at restoring public trust in their office.

Minister Kaladze appointed stipends to students of Georgian Technical University

Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Kakha Kaladze initiated a program that awards stipends to 15 successful students at the Georgian Technical University’s Energy and TV communications faculty. Every month the students will receive 200 GEL from the Kala charity foundation.