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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 25
Irakli Alasania – August War has been assessed

Minister of Defense, Irakli Alasania, says that the August War has already been assessed and it was Russian aggression against Georgia, Alasania said 20% of Georgian territories are occupied and the government’s task is to manage to free its territory from the armed forces of the foreign country through diplomacy.

“This needs pragmatism, cautious foreign policy, armed forces and full integration to the European space,” Irakli Alasania said, while attending the events in tribute to Vakhtang Gzirishvili’s memory, who died in the August War. (IPN)

"Fund of Caucasus" categorically denies any connection with Tsarnaev

The Caucasus Fund responded to information published by Izvestia regarding the preparation of terrorists in Georgia and categorically denies any connection with Tsarnaev.

"Tsarnaev has never been in Georgia, we do not know him. I am amazed at how unskilled the Russian special services are,” the fund's head, Givi Gambashidze said.

According to Izvestia, one of the organizers of the terrorist attack in Boston studied at the workshop held in conjunction with the Georgian special services.

Izvestia reported that they have documents confirming that the Georgian organization Fund of Caucasus, which cooperates with the U.S. non-profit organization "Jamestown", was engaged in recruiting residents from the North Caucasus to work in the interests of the United States and Georgia,” (Front News)

Lavrov says Russia is prepared to take steps in relations with Georgia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia is prepared to take steps for normalizing relations with Georgia. The Russian senior diplomat held a press conference within the NATO Ministerial in Brussels.

When questioned by a Georgian journalist about the possible changes in Georgia-Russia relations along with the return of Georgian product to Russian market, Lavrov answered that Russia was prepared for cooperation in spheres that would make relations between the citizens of the two states easier.

The Russian Foreign Minister expressed his hope that the new government of Georgia would be more acceptable for its people than the previous one. (Rustavi 2)

President Saakashvili to leave for the US

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili plans to visit the United States. The President’s administration has reported that Saakashvili will hold a meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden. He is also invited to the George Bush Presidential Center`s opening ceremony.

Participation in the forum organized by Senator McCain is also on the agenda of the visit, as well as meeting with the US Secretary of State John Kerry. This will be the first meeting of the president with Mr. Kerry as the Secretary of State. The Georgian President plans to discuss the situation in Georgia that has taken place during the past few months. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia offers NATO to transport equipment from Afghanistan by Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway

Georgia has offered NATO the use of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for the transportation of goods from Afghanistan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Maia Pandzhikidze told journalists in Brussels, where she is taking part in the alliance's ministerial meeting.

There are currently 1,700 Georgian troops in Afghanistan, and the country will continue its mission there after 2014.

She also reiterated the government's initiative, inviting NATO to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway for transportation of goods from Afghanistan.

"We always say this to NATO partners. In the first instance, this initiative was announced by the Prime Minister of Georgia at a meeting with the Secretary General of NATO. There is a very big interest in this railway and the Turkish Foreign Minister has mentioned this in his speech. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is a joint project of the three countries which may be of interest to NATO. This is the quickest way for the withdrawal and export of goods from Afghanistan. Therefore, Georgia's proposal was welcomed at today's meeting. I believe this proposal will be acceptable to NATO," Pandzhikidze said. (Trend)

Irakli Garibashvili does not exclude cooperation with Data Akhalaia

Georgian Minister of Internal Affairs, Irakli Garibashvili, does not exclude cooperation with Data Akhalaia.

"Akhalaia was the head of the Constitutional Security Department, so he has a lot of information; therefore, it will be interesting for us if he cooperates with our agency. If Data Akhalaia wants to tell people the truth of what was really happening, it will help the investigation to open a lot of cases,” Garibashvili told the newspaper All News, adding that he does not exclude cooperation with Akhalaia for the interests of the country and the investigation. (Front News)

US Ambassador summarizes Ivanishvili’s speech at PACE

"The new government of Georgia is trying to introduce itself to the rest of the world,” U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland said, while commenting on Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s speech at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

According to Richard Norland, he did not watch the full video of the Prime Minister’s speech. "But as I know, he answered all questions posed to him," Norland said. (Front News)

Russian border guards detain 75-year-old man

Russian border guards detained a man near the village of Kirbali and took him in the Tskhinvali direction. 75-year-old Giorgi Dotiashvili was in the pastured with his cattle when he was detained.

The official accusation is not known, though Tskhinvali will presumably accuse Dotiashvili of crossing the border illegally. The border line is not fixed with barbed wire in the vicinity of the village of Kirbali, though Russian border guards detain many on allegations of crossing the so called border. The number of detainees from the village of Kirbali has exceeded 30 in a two-year period.

Locals report that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Shida Kartli regional division are conducting talks with the Ossetian party to free Dotiashvili. (IPN)

Tbilisi hosts Georgian-Chinese business forum

Tbilisi hosted the Georgian-Chinese business forum, which was attended by 40 Chinese companies.

Business forums are an important step in the development of economic relations between the two countries, China's Ambassador to Georgia Chen Jianfu said at the opening of the Business Forum, expressing his satisfaction with enhancing economic relations between China and Georgia.

The aim of the business forum was to get acquainted with Chinese companies and to establish contacts for further cooperation between the businessmen of the two countries.

The event was attended by representatives of Chinese companies operating in sectors such as industry, energy, real estate and agriculture. Within the forum, bilateral meetings of businessmen were also held.

Chinese business is already involved in Georgia's economic sphere. In particular, the Chinese companies are involved in the construction of roads, as well as sports and residential complexes within the European Youth Olympic Games to be held in Tbilisi in 2015. (Trend)