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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 15
PACE representatives to examine execution of resolution on Georgian-Russian relations

A delegation from the PACE Monitoring Committee and co-rapporteurs on Georgian-Russian relations have arrived in Tbilisi. PACE deputy head, Andres Herkel, told the media at Tbilisi airport that they have already visited Moscow and held talks with Russian officials. The committee is examining the process of fulfilling a resolution by Georgia and Russia adopted by the organization after the Georgian-Russian conflict in 2008.

"Moscow does not intend to revoke the decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he said. "This creates additional problems in relations between the two countries. Europe recognizes Georgia's territorial integrity and conducts a policy of non-recognition of these regions. We are looking for common ground between Georgia and Russia." Herkel said the prospects of developing Georgian-Russian relations will be discussed at the Georgian parliament.

"We hope to find common approaches to resolve the problem and present our vision of the possible cooperation at the PACE session," he said. (Trend)

Eight member investigation group to study August War

An eight member investigation group set up by Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili’s decision will study the alleged criminal acts committed during and after the period of the August War in 2008. According to the statement of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation team is composed of representatives of three agencies. “Given the importance, large volume and complexity of the case, the Chief Prosecutor commissioned the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Military Police Department of the Ministry of Defense to launch an investigation into the case,” the statement says. (IPN)

Another presidential candidate appears in Georgia

The President of the Georgian-Abkhaz and Ossetian International Movement, Nestan Kirtadze, plans to run in the presidential election. She said at a press conference on Monday that the Georgian Dream Coalition's decision to nominate the Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, for the presidential election, remains incomprehensible to her.

"The post of the President of Georgia remains one of the highest political positions, even given the new constitutional realities. Therefore, it is important whom the ruling power nominates as its candidate. Unfortunately, the party named Giorgi Margvelashvili, whose political background is in philosophy," Kirtadze noted.

According to her, she expected a candidate with the correct perception of the main challenges the country faces– territorial integrity. According to Kirtadze, the presidential campaign for her is a chance to engage in direct dialogue with the Abkhaz and Ossetian peoples as well as a dialogue with the government in connection with the peace process and national and territorial integrity.

So far, among the presidential candidates are the Deputy Prime Minister, Giorgi Margvelashvili, ex-Foreign Minister, Salome Zurabishvili and Labour Party leader, Shalva Natelashvili.

The presidential election in Georgia is scheduled for the second half of 2013. (Trend)

Azerbaijan and Georgia discuss cooperation in field of youth and sports

Azerbaijan's Youth and Sports Minister, Azad Rahimov, met on Monday with the new Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia, Levan Kipiani, who is on a visit to Azerbaijan.

During the meeting, Rahimov reported on the work undertaken by the state on the development of sports and youth policy in the country, according to a report released by the press service of the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan on Monday. Rahimov noted the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the sphere of sports as well as in the field of youth policy. It was noted at the meeting that from this point of view, the restoration of a tradition of organizing activities in the border areas with the participation of young people would be very useful. The Minister of Youth and Sport of Azerbaijan told the guests about the musical competition among the students "Univision". He mentioned the contest will receive international status, adding that representatives of 30-40 countries have already expressed their willingness to take part in the contest. In turn, the Georgian minister expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality, noted the importance of cooperation with Azerbaijan for Georgia, adding that joint training in many sports and co-hosting of competitions may also be very important. (Trend)

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister to chair working group for visa liberalization

A working group created for the liberalization of the visa regime between the EU and Georgia, will be headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Beruchashvili. According to the Legislative Herald of Georgia, President Mikheil Saakashvili has already signed a decree approving the composition of the group.

Members of this working group are: Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgi Khelaia; Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Levan Izoria; Deputy Minister of Justice Gocha Lortqifanidze; Levan Samadashvili, Head of State Services Development Agency of Justice Ministry; Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council Tamar Kintsurashvili; Deputy Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Mariam Rakviashvili; Head of the European Integration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tea Akhvlediani; Head of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Giorgi Tabatadze and Head of the International Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khatuna Totladze. (Front News)

IOC thanks Georgia for participation in Sochi 2014

The headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and the government of Switzerland thanked the Georgian government for its decision to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. The letter was delivered to the government of Georgia by the Ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia, Gunther Bechler. “On behalf of the government of Switzerland, I want to congratulate Georgia on the decision taken by the National Olympic Committee to participate in the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014. This decision is a significant signal for the international community,” the letter says. (Rustavi 2)