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The News in Brief

Monday, July 8
Saakashvili vetoes bill that cuts president’s powers over energy regulator

President Saakashvili has vetoed a bill, which, if enforced, will shift the right of appointing the chairman and members of the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission, from the President to the Prime Minister.

The Parliament confirmed the bill on June 12.

The commission’s chairmanship is currently held by Guram Chalagashvili, whose term in office expires this summer, as he was appointed on the post for a five-year term in August, 2007.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Georgia not ready to seek compromise on security in Transcaucasia

Georgia is not ready to look for acceptable solutions for all parties on security and stability issues in Transcaucasia in the framework of the Geneva talks, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich said.

"Unfortunately, the Georgian delegation is not ready for a joint search of solutions that are acceptable for all parties on major issues of the Geneva agenda," Lukashevich said at a briefing on Friday.

Earlier, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, told RIA Novosti that Moscow is disappointed with the results of the Geneva talks that were held on June 26, as the Georgian side refused to continue the discussion, in essence, stating there are too many representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the hall, which violates the established format.

The Geneva talks were convened after the armed conflict in Georgia in August 2008, in accordance with the ceasefire agreement of August 12.

Thea Tzulukiani - first blogger minister

Thea Tzulukiani is the first minister in the government to create a blog. The first post on the Justice Minister`s Blog was made on Friday. In it, the minister congratulates the Georgian people on the adoption of a new Labor Code, expresses her position about the document and unveils her plans.

The minister thinks that the online blog is one of the best means for direct and open communication with the public. Tzulukiani says she wants to post her points of view to Georgian society.

“Due to an overloaded schedule, I often cannot comment on all the issues, but there are topics I want to introduce to readers. I think that this blog will help me do this,” Tzulukiani has written.
(Rustavi 2)

“Constitution should establish rules of the game that will be effective for millennia”

Chairman of Georgian Parliament, Davit Usupashvili, said the Constitution should be stable, long-term and it should establish the rules of the game that will be effective for millennia. Usupashvili stated at the meeting of the Public Discussion Commission that the current government's task is to balance the current situation within the Constitution.

"In the near future, the State Constitutional Commission will be created, which will work on serious constitutional reform. Representatives of the parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties, NGOs and experts will be in this commission. The commission will work for one year in order to adopt the Constitution which will not need amendments in 2-3 years. Prior to that, we needed to make two changes. The first was the amendment which was made several months ago and the president was deprived of the right to form a government without the parliament’s consent. Today we are discussing amendments about the PM’s rights, which will take effect after President Saakashvili’s presidential term expires. If there is stalemate situation between the Parliament and the Government regarding the bill or any other matter, then the solution is - early parliamentary elections,” Usupashvili said.
(Front News)

Istanbul hosts next round of Georgian-Russian expert talks

The International Centre for Research on Conflict and Negotiation will be held in Istanbul for the next round of Russian-Georgian negotiations. 11 experts from Georgia and Russia came together for the tenth round of negotiations.

The head of the Georgian delegation, Director of the Center on Conflict and Negotiations, Georgi Khutcishvili, noted that, despite the tensions, following the 2012 parliamentary elections the new government of Georgia has chosen a clear course for the establishment of relations with Russia and made the first steps in this direction. The participants developed recommendations, which cover both general matters and technical steps for future action. In particular, it was noted that non-governmental organizations of Georgia and Russia are focused on finding ways to improve the dialogue between the two countries. Simplification of the visa regime, the return of Georgian wines, mineral waters and agricultural products to the Russian market, the development of bilateral tourism and transport infrastructure, cooperation in the field of health care and the organization of business forums and exchange of information to combat terrorism, the deepening of historical and spiritual ties, organization of joint festivals, restoring Russian schools in Georgia, development of student exchange programs, media cooperation and creation of "the infrastructure of the world" were among such steps. The parties agreed on coordinated actions to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations and deepen cooperation between the two countries.

Georgia presents its strategy on migration at Eastern Partnership conference

On Friday, a conference entitled "Labor Migration in Eastern Partnership Countries as the Social Dimension of European Integration" started in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine.

The conference was attended by the representatives of the European and Eastern partnership member-countries– both components of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly.

The head of the Georgian parliamentary delegation to Euronest, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration, Viktor Dolidze, spoke at the forum.

Dolidze made a report about the challenges in the field of labor migration and spoke about the importance of migration strategy, adopted by the Government of Georgia in March 2013.