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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 3
Minister of Internal Affairs visits Armenia

Minister of Internal Affairs, Irakli Gharibashvili, met with the President of Armenia, Serzh Sargisyan. During the meeting the sides discussed issues connected with future cooperation between the two countries. Within the frames of the visit Gharibashvili also met with the Chief of Police of Armenia, who awarded him with an honorable medal –“Defender of Law”. The minister also held meetings with the Minister of Emergencies of Armenia and the director of National Security Service. Issues of mutual cooperation in the law enforcing sphere, reforms recently held within the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs and other activities scheduled in this direction have been discussed during the meeting. (Rustavi 2)

Women convicts go on hunger strike

Women convicts have gone on hunger strike. One of the protestors informed the media that 182 women prisoners in the Rustavi N5 facility have refused to take their daily bread, while 82 of them have gone on hunger strike demanding reduction of their sentences. The women convicts are objecting to the collective sentences and demand reduction of their terms, which they still have to serve. In addition, the prisoners demand meeting with the MPs from the majority - Eka Beselia, who is the chairperson of the human rights committee of the parliament, Tinatin Khidasheli and Gedevan Popkhadze. (Rustavi 2)

Gerard Depardieu visits occupied Abkhazia

The famous French actor, Gerard Depardieu, visited occupied Abkhazia. He was received by the de facto President of breakaway Abkhazia, Aleksander Ankvab. Abkhazian media informs that Gerard Depardieu said for the first time he heard about Abkhazia years ago in St. Petersburg from the then President of Abkhazia, Sergey Baghapsh. Depardieu underscored the uniqueness of Abkhazian nature and said that there are great possibilities for tourism development here.

Ankvab highlighted the importance of the visit by the actor. “We know France very well, and you know us very bad. Your visit here is very important so that France gets to know Abkhazia,” Ankvab said on the meeting. He gave Depardieu coins with Abkhazian churches on them.

After meeting the so-called President, Gerard Depardieu walked in the streets of Sokhumi and spoke to the locals. (IPN)

Georgian, French FMs meet in Paris

Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, met her French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, in Paris on July 1.

The two ministers discussed bilateral relations, the internal political situation in Georgia, as well as Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

Panjikidze said after the meeting that France “fully supports” initialing the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia by the time of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in late November.

“The ministers also touched upon problematic issues related to Georgian criminal groups operating in France,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said. (Civil.Ge)

Ilia II is against selling lands to foreigners

Georgian Patriarch, Ilia II, spoke about the problems Georgians living abroad are facing nowadays and the importance of their return to the homeland. Visiting the exhibition at the youth centre at Trinity Cathedral, Ilia II also stressed the necessity for preserving Georgian lands. He said no one is allowed to sell such values as lands and natural deposits to foreigners. (The Messenger)

Nina Sublati becomes the Star of Georgia

The final of the Star of Georgia musical contest on July 1 featured three finalists:Nina Sublatti, Nuka Gvalia and Mariko Lezhava performing two solo singles each. The girls also offered the audience a common performance of the popular single "Lady Marmalade", staging a show with a provocative flavor. From more than 80, 000 phone calls from the viewers, Sublati received around 47% and thus became the winner of the 2013 show. (Georgian News)

Georgian coast guard takes part in international exercises

The Georgian Coast Guard vessel P-24 Sukhumi will take part in "Black Sea Hawk 2013", a series of international exercises to be held in Bulgaria on July 2-4. The Turkish, Romanian, Russian and Ukrainian Coast Guard's units will take part in the exercises. The Sukhumi ship will be involved in practical exercises in virtual and the real spheres. The purpose of the exercises is to improve the exchange of information between the Coast Guard of the countries in the Black Sea region, to ensure the safety of navigation, to conduct joint search and rescue operations, etc.

The Sukhumi ship will take part in the "Sea Breeze 2013" exercises within the "Partnership for Peace" program on July 5-20. The exercises cover the following areas: joint maneuvering, detention and boarding operation, the transfer of cargo in motion, towing, protection from terrorists, the transmission of light signals, the monitoring of sea space. (Trend)

Gurgenidze no longer Director of Liberty Bank

The Board of Trustees of Liberty Bank made a decision to release Vladimer Gurgenidze from the General Director’s position. His deputy, Giorgi Arveladze, has been named as the substitute for Gurgenidze at this position, while Gurgenidze will continue working at the bank as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Before that, Gurgenidze had been holding both positions at the same time. (Newscafe.Ge)

Megi Gvenetadze has first personal exhibition

The Exhibition Hall of Georgia’s State Center for Folklore hosted the first personal exhibition of painter Megi Gvenetadze, featuring up to 84 pieces of decorative graphics, painted dishes and souvenirs made using the filigree technique. The exhibition is scheduled to run for four days, with the visitors able to purchase works presented. (Georgian News)

Bukia Park to be “entirely” reconstructed

Another park fountain is scheduled to open in Tbilisi, with the reconstruction of Bukia Park already underway and set to cost the Tbilisi City Hall 770,000 Lari. City Hall Ecology and Green Areas Section Head, Giorgi Korkashvili, said the historic park would be reconstructed “entirely”. The park territory has already been surrounded with fences, with work – set to be completed late September to early October - carried out by Green Studio. (Georgian News)