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The News in Brief

Friday, August 16
Saakashvili addresses Abkhazians on anniversary of war

On the 21st anniversary of the outbreak of the Abkhazian War, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called for reconciliation between Georgians and Abkhazians.

On Wednesday, President Saakashvili asked the Abkhazian people to pay tribute to "those who sacrificed their lives for the unity of the country and bright ideals" and also to honor people "who for 21 years bear the results of this war."

"I pay tribute to those who still believe that our homeland will be unified." the president wrote in his appeal. This war wasnít started between Georgians and Abkhazians; this war was imposed on our peoples."

"Russia is encroaching on our borders and is attempting to increase the occupied territories by wire-installation, but I am sure this is temporary and everything will change. They forget a simple thing: occupation is followed by de-occupation. This is inevitable." Saakashvili said. (DFWatch)

Signature collection to support Zourabichvili's presidential candidacy registration

An initiative group began collecting signatures demanding the registration of the leader of Georgia's Way Party, ex-foreign minister Salome Zourabichvili, as a presidential candidate.

According to one of the initiators of the signature collection, Mamuka Baliashvili, the law does not prohibit Zourabichvili who has dual citizenship (Georgia and France) to participate in the presidential election.

"In order to mislead the public it was stated that Salome Zourabichvili as a person with dual citizenship does not have the right to participate in the presidential election, but actually it is not true." Baliashvili said.

This is why, according to Baliashvili, the initiative group has begun collecting additional signatures to show that Zourabichvili has large-scale support. (Trend)

Internal Security Minister of Israel Visits Georgia

Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the Internal Security Minister of Israel, who is visiting Georgia August 15th-18th, met Georgian Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday.

"A joint statement of the governments of Georgia and Israel regarding cooperation in the fight against crime and in the sphere of public security was signed." the Georgian Interior Ministry said.

Aharonovitch and Garibashvili first met in May 2013 when the Georgian Interior Minister visited Israel.

The Georgian Interior Ministry said that the Internal Security Minister of Israel would also visit a training base of the Georgian emergency department and the 112 emergency call center. (Civil.Ge)

Russian inspection team to check Georgiaís agricultural products

A group of Russian inspectors will arrive in Georgia to inspect the country's agricultural products, Georgia's Agriculture Minister Shalva Pipia said.

According to Pipia, Georgia's low risk agricultural products have already entered the Russian market.

"The export of bay leafs, dried fruits, nuts and other low risk products has already begun. Regarding perishable products, a group of inspectors will arrive to check their quality. They will check our food safety system and only then will make a decision which is expected to be positive as we meet the requirements of the Russian market," the minister said.

In turn, head of the Public Relations Department of the National Food Agency Giga Kurdovanidze noted that the relevant forms of veterinary a certificates have been agreed upon with the Russian side. (Trend)

Three priests have been suspended

Three priests of the Margveti and Ubisa Eparchy have been suspended by the decision of the patriarchateís special commission.

Patriarchs' archbishop Teodore Chuadze did not discuss the motives of the commissionís decision. "It is the internal affairs of the affairs." he said.

Recently an altercation took place between locals and clergymen in Ubisa and Margveti. The locals accused them of violating confessional confidentiality and the misappropriation of church property. The locals asked the patriarchate for help.

Today the special commission members met with the parish, clergymen and the local government representatives. (Front News)

MFA warns Georgian citizens in Egypt

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia warns citizens of Georgia who are in Egypt at the moment to remain in their hotels and calls on others who plan to travel to Egypt to abstain from travelling there due to civil disturbances currently occurring there. The Egyptian government announced a state of emergency in Cairo and 14 other regions of the country on August 14th due to fighting between the government forces and the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on the other. (Rustavi 2)

Statement by the Prosecutor`s Office

The Chief Prosecutor`s Office of Georgia has lightened preventative measures against six police officers, who were charged with the illegal detention of General Tamaz Tamazashvili two years ago. A representative of the Prosecutor's Office explained the reasons for the decision at a briefing today. The official said that six former police officers - Givi Kravchenko, Grigol Kvinikadze, Zaza Chaia, Vladimer Gamrekelashvili, Gocha Chitaia and Gocha Baghatrishvili- have cooperated with the investigation; the former officers confirmed to investigators that the detention of General Tamazashvili was politically motivated. (Rustavi 2)

Public service reform planned in Georgia

"The civil service should not depend on political changes and elections, it should be a stable, self-developing structure." the head of administration of Georgia's State Chancellery Maia Tskitishvili told journalists prior to the start of the first meeting of the Council for Development of the Concept of Public Service Reform.

Tskitishvili stated that a professional system based on professional growth and stability will be implemented by the end of the year.

The Council for Development of the Concept of Public Service Reform was established by the Georgian Government in July. It includes deputy ministers and representatives from NGO's. (Trend)