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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 11
U.S. Department of State delegation visits Georgia

A U.S. government delegation is paying a visit to Georgia to re-emphasize the importance of compliance with the principles of democracy while holding the presidential election scheduled for October 27. The U.S Department of State's press service reported that the delegation will be led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Relations, Thomas Melia and Assistant Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Paige Alexander. “In order to show the great significance the U.S. attaches to the democratic election process, the delegation will also include officials from the U.S Ministry of Security and Justice Ministry,” a message from the press service said.

The message also noted that the American delegation will meet with “representatives of the government, political parties, election commission employees, members of parliament and civilian leaders and the defenders of freedom of the press” in Georgia. (Trend)

Georgia, EU discuss issues of liberalization of visa regime

In mid-October, the EU mission will arrive in Tbilisi to assess progress in implementing the plan on visa liberalization between Georgia and EU. The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported on Tuesday that an agreement was reached during the meeting between Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Tamar Beruchashvili and Director-General for Home Affairs of the European Commission, Stefano Manservisi. During the meeting, the sides agreed that the EU mission visit in Georgia will take part ahead of the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. Beruchashvili and Manservisi stressed the progress in the implementation of the plan and discussed the further steps directed towards liberalizing the visa regime between the EU and Georgia. Within the visit, the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister also held meetings with some senior EU officials.

During the meeting issues of further cooperation between Georgia and EU were discussed.

Beruchashvili also discussed the issues of Georgia's security and the EU's role in ensuring that security. (Trend)

PM Praises CEO of Georgian Railway

PM Ivanishvili said that the CEO of the state-owned Georgian Railway, Mamuka Bakhtadze, “is a good guy” and “an interesting person” and although he had never thought of him as a potential prime ministerial candidate before, it was worth thinking.

There has been speculation in the Georgian media recently that Bakhtadze was Ivanishvili’s pick for PM to replace him after his intended pre-term resignation.

Asked about these reports on September 9, Ivanishvili said smiling: “By the way it’s good that I’ve been reminded about him. I did not have him on [the list of] candidates. We may consider him as one of the candidates; he’s a good guy,” Ivanishvili added.

Mamuka Bakhtadze, 31, who has never been involved in politics, was appointed as CEO of Georgian Railway in late March of 2013. From October 2010 till the end of 2012 he served as the CEO of the Georgian International Energy Corporation, which is part of the Georgian Industrial Group, a business conglomerate affiliated with UNM MP Davit Bezhuashvili. (Civil.Ge)

Alexander Kvitashvili to chair Davit Bakradze’s election headquarters

Former Rector of Tbilisi State University, Alexander Kvitashvili will chair the United National Movement (UNM) Presidential candidate, Davit Bakradze’s Election Headquarters.

“The team’s and my great desire was to have a chairperson known to the public as a man with an untarnished reputation, and a man whose name is not linked to scandals and malicious gossips. We wanted this man to be totally acceptable for society; and Sandro Kvitashvili is the very man we needed; he will be an excellent chairperson at our election headquarter,” stated Bakradze.

As for Kvitashvili, he hopes that he will do his bit in assisting Bakradze’s election campaign to achieve success. “Davit Bakradze is an experienced politician who will undoubtedly take our country in the right direction”, declared Kvitashvili. (IPN)

Iranian President hopes to expand ties with Georgia

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed the hope that ties between Iran and Georgia would further expand in the political, social and cultural fields in the future.

The Iranian chief executive’s message was sent in response to a congratulatory message from Ivanishvili, who had earlier facilitated President Rouhani on his assuming office.

In a development last month, the minister of foreign affairs of Georgia messaged her Iranian counterpart, and called for expansion of ties with the Islamic Republic. Maya Panjikidze had stated that ties between the two sides have improved, adding that Mohammad Javad Zarif’s appointment as Iran's foreign minister could provide the appropriate grounds for deeper bilateral relations. Iran and Georgia have close political and economic ties and there are hundreds of companies registered by Iranians in Georgia. (IPN)

Neutral road between Russia and Georgia to be repaired

As Minister Davit Narmania stated, the road is in horrendous condition and the Ministry has already started working on the project to repair the road. “Between Georgia and the Russian Federation's custom-house, there is a neutral area where the road is in desperate need of repairs. So, we have already started to work on the project and as soon as it is ready, we will launch the repair work. (IPN)