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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 6
Geneva hosts 25th round of international talks

The 25th round of international negotiations is underway in Geneva. The Georgian delegation headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, will once again raise the question of Russia's commitments to the non-use of force and the creation of international security mechanisms in the occupied regions within the first working group. Issues related to the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories will be discussed as part of the second working group.

The Georgian side will voice a strong protest in connection with the recent situation in the occupied regions in terms of security and human rights stipulated by the illegal action of the occupation forces while installing the barbed wire fences along the occupation line. (Trend)

Georgian president-elect, Kazakh ambassador discuss bilateral relations

The president-elect of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili met on Monday with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Georgia, Elmukhamed Ertisbayev.

The sides discussed bilateral economic and trade relations. "I congratulate the people of Georgia on the democratic presidential election. This is really an event to be congratulated. Our President Nursultan Nazarbayev was one of the first to congratulate Giorgi Margvelashvili on his victory in the election. Georgia is coming closer to European standards, which is very significant," the ambassador said.

In turn, Giorgi Margvelashvili noted that now the country's quick development in the European family is the most important thing.

"During the meeting we talked about the greatest achievement - democratic election in accordance with European standards, we said that there was a consolidation of democracy in Georgia. We also talked about the prospects provided to the country by this new political reality, and that we will carry out European integration effectively and quickly after the Vilnius summit," Margvelashvili said. (Trend)

Francois Hollande congratulates Giorgi Margvelashvili on victory in Presidential election

The French President Francois Hollande has congratulated the President-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili on victory in the presidential election. “Mr. President, please receive my sincere congratulations and from the French nation on your victory in the presidential election. I salute that the elections were conducted in a competitive and transparent environment according to the OSCE observation mission preliminary report, which underscores Georgia being close to democracy and the rule of law. I will be glad to work with you in the future, to deepen cooperation and friendly relations between our countries. I hope we will meet at the November 29 Vilnius Summit that marks a new stage of EU-Georgian cooperation,” the letter says. (InterPressNews)

Saakashvili meets Sarkozy in Paris

President Mikheil Saakashvili on Monday met with ex-president of France Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.

According to the president’s press office, the main topic of their conversation was Georgia’s integration with Europe and the importance of the Sarkozy-Medvedev cease-fire agreement, which was signed after the Russia-Georgia war in 2008.

The president also met with members of the French parliament. His Europe trip will also include meetings in other EU countries.

“I spoke with my friend Nicolas Sarkozy for long time,” the president said after the meeting. “He is not the past of France, but the future of the country, and Europe and everyone knows it. That’s why this relationship is very important for me.”

The president said he thinks Sarkozy is a symbol of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Saakashvili thinks it is a problem that the new government stopped mentioning the Sarkozy-Medvedev agreement, while before the 2012 parliamentary election, Europeans and Americans used to remind Russia about it every week. He says that as soon as the government stopped talking about it, Georgia’s partners also stopped talking about the agreement.

Saakashvili called on the government not to stop talking about the agreement, which Russia violates every day by installing barbed wire and fences, and army build-up. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Maia Panjikidze – No fundamental changes planned in the cabinet of Minister

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze said no fundamental changes are planned in the cabinet of ministers. The minister explained that there will be a new Minister of Interior Affairs, but she said she is not aware of the other staff changes.

“The new Prime Minister must be enabled to form the cabinet of ministers according to his opinion. But I have no foundation to presume that there will be fundamental changes, as the government is working effectively and every section performs its function very well,” Panjikidze said, supposing that she will personally remain in the cabinet membership. (InterPressNews)

Ship sinks in Aegean Sea – five Georgians rescued

A ship with a Georgian crew Saturday went down in the Aegean Sea. Five of the crew members were rescued, but the captain is missing and a search is underway.

According to Maritime Bulletin, the small freighter Stella had a crew of six when it sank for unknown reasons. When it issued a distress signal on Saturday, it was 19 nautical miles west of the Greek island Karpathos.

The Greek coast guard yesterday said that five persons have been rescued, all of them Georgians. The captain, also a Georgian citizen, is missing, but z rescue crew is searching for him.

The Stella was built in 1967 and was flying a Sierra Leonean flag. The ship had left the Turkish port Aliaga and was on the way to Cyprus without cargo.

After the ship sent an SOS signal, the coast guard sent a helicopter to the location where it happened. Five Georgians were taken by helicopter to a hospital on the island of Rhodes.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Monday that nothing new is known about the fate of the captain. Rescue workers will continue the search for 74 hours since the accident, and are now conducting a search of the sea floor. The five surviving crew members will be brought to Georgia in a few days and their transport costs covered by the company which owned the ship. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)