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The News in Brief

Wednesday, March 20
Saakashvili signs appointments of 9 new ambassadors

President Saakashvili signed a decree approving the appointment of Georgia’s nine new ambassadors on March 18.

Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze accused the president on March 15 of deliberately dragging out appointing these nine ambassadors, including in Washington and Brussels. She said that the delay in appointing the new ambassadors was not contributing to an effective implementation of foreign policy goals. First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani also complained about the issue earlier on March 18, before the announcement was made by the president’s administration that Mikheil Saakashvili signed the decree. (Civil.Ge)

The 32nd IPRM takes place in Ergneti

On March 18, the 32nd meeting under the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism took place in Ergneti, co-facilitated by the EUMM and the OSCE. Participants welcomed the decreasing number of incidents, including detentions. The prompt release of a mother and her child, after the activation of the Hotline was appreciated. The participants discussed problems of freedom of movement and farming for people residing along the ABL, especially in light of the spring agricultural season.

A joint visit to the spot in the framework of the next IPRM was proposed. A schedule for repair work on the water supply system in the area of Sameba in the Akhalgori district was also discussed. (EUMM)

Israeli Ambassador to hold meeting on group visa simplification

The Ambassador of Israeli to Georgia, Yuval Fuchs, will meet with Georgian tourist companies about group visa liberalization. The meeting initiated by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, National Tourism Administration and ambassador of Israel refers to the problems in the current visa regime with Israel that hinders work of the private sector in taking tourists to Israel. The mechanism that will improve communication between the Israeli ambassador and agencies working in Georgia in issuing group visas are also on the agenda. (IPN)

Tea Tsulukiani and Archil Kbilashvili present new prosecutor

Georgian Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani and Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili introduced Maia Mtsariashvili as the new head of Tbilisi’s Prosecutor’s Office. Tsulukiani thanked the previous prosecutor and said that for the last months, Davit Kochlamazashvili had a hard job and managed to get the Tbilisi prosecutor’s office on the right track. Kochlamazashvili will continue work at the head office of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office. “The Prosecutor’s office has not restored the trust it should have from the citizens of Georgia. My goal is to make the prosecutor a dignified position, so that young people dream of working at the prosecutor’s office,” Tsulukiani said. The Minister of Justice noted that the feeling of injustice in the country resulted from neglecting the citizens’ interests by the prosecutors. She said the civilians’ interest will be the priority.” (IPN)

Household appliances designated for war-affected population found in Gori

A large number of household appliances designated for the 2008 war-affected population have been found in Gori. An InterPressNews correspondent reports that the representatives of the local government and the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation discovered some stores with refrigerators, TV sets, gas stoves and furniture. Most of the appliances do not function as they were kept in improper conditions for years. (IPN)

MIDPs rally outside PM Ivanishvili’s business center

Internally displaced people from Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia have been holding a protest rally outside the business center of PM Ivanishvili on Tuesday morning. The rally participants object to their eviction from a block of apartments and are urging the PM to stop the process claiming they were registered at the block of flats.

They said 56 IDP families were accommodated in the block of apartments at Nutsubidze plateau years ago and they have been living there ever since. The block of apartments was on the account of the ministry of economy then. The IDPs asked to find out how fair the evicting process is. (Rustavi 2)

Seminar on Georgia’s integration to EU and NATO

The office of the state Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic integration hosted a group of journalists in Gudauri during a two-day tour on March 15-17. About 20 journalists participated in the seminars conducted around the issues of Georgia’s aspiration towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Several officials headed the meeting including State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic integration, Aleksi Petrishvili, deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Zalkaniani and Europe integration parliamentary committee head, Viktor Dolidze. (The Messenger)

Lucky “Tragic Marriage” - Palitra TV wins Red Bull “Jump and Freeze” competition

Ski, snowboard, sledge or any other mode of winter transport could be used for gliding down a 100-meter snow track – in funny costumes - towards a pond filled with cold water in an entertaining event organized in Gudauri by Red Bull. The event – titled Jump and Freeze – was especially engaging for onlookers for the strange appearance of its participants, and this visual effect was achieved from the very start of the competition. The climax of the show comes when its participants – already warm and dry – are awarded for creativity and complexity of what they managed to present, while The Favorite of the Audience is another nomination. This year’s competition also saw Inbox by Constanta Bank choose its team for the tournament, which happened to be the Palitra TV channel duo for the piece titled ‘Tragic Marriage’.

Teams Kvabuli, X-fighters and Innovators were among the prize-winners. They were awarded by a variety of sponsors. The contest saw the participation of 25 teams in total, among them visiting performers from Ukraine and Azerbaijan. 2013 Jump and Freeze proved bigger than the initial tournament in 2012. Red Bull will fill up the pond in Gudauri again next year. (Georgian News TV)