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The News in Brief

Thursday, November 7
OSCE intends to resume its mission in Georgia

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier says they plan to resume their office in Georgia soon. Lamberto Zannier talked about the organization’s plans in Georgia in the interview with a Russian news agency.

He said the organization had intensive cooperation with Georgian authorities since last year`s parliamentary elections. However, they still had to observe developments in the country from a distance, as the OSCE did not have the office of representatives in Georgia.

“I plan to visit Georgia next year and one of the top issues on the agenda will be the resumption of the OSCE mission in Georgia, which will allow us to implement our projects in the region more effectively,” Alberto Zannier said.

The OSCE mission suspended its work in Georgia in June 2009. (Rustavi 2)

EU to prepare report on refugee status in Georgia

A report will be prepared on the status of refugees in Georgia, Rapporteur of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Rene Rouquet said at a press conference in Tbilisi on Wednesday.

He said the report will be presented on November 20 to the PACE Migration Committee and in April to the Parliamentary Assembly session.

As Rouquet stressed during a visit to Georgia, he visited several places of dense settlements of refugees.

"We visited the places of dense settlement in Rustavi, Oqrokana and Tserovani. Some problems were revealed and solutions being considered," he said.

The main problems that have been identified are connected to housing, heating and sewage. The main objective is to provide normal housing in a short time, Rouquet said.

The PACE rapporteur said he met with the leadership of the Ministry of Refugees and Accommodation and discussed the problems of internally displaced persons. (Trend)

Saakashvili invites new applicants for citizenship

Outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili is planning to grant Georgian citizenship to more people before he leaves office. In a statement on Tuesday, the president’s administration invites anyone who wants Georgian citizenship to apply now. Many people have applied to the president recently because they have been denied citizenship by the Ministry of Justice.

“Among them are people who have never been citizens of Georgia and now want to be, and are people who used to be Georgian citizens, but had it revoked after they received citizenship in another country,” the president’s statement reads.

There are also foreign businessmen who work in Georgia and want to have Georgian citizenship, and businessmen who plan to invest in the country.

“That is why we decided to grant these people Georgian citizenship through simplified procedure so our country can be as integrated with the outside world as possible.”

In recent weeks, Saakashvili has granted Georgian citizenship to thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Turkey. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgia, Russia will hold another round of talks

Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze will visit Prague to participate in the fifth round of the Georgian-Russian negotiations.

The negotiations will be held from November 19-23.

Abashidze will meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.

According to the Georgian Prime Minister's office PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has already issued a relevant decree.

The following issues, namely, trade relations, transport relations, humanitarian-cultural and scientific relations and other possible areas of cooperation will be discussed at the meeting. (Trend)

Ex-official’s wife says there are violations in Akhalaia’s case

Wife of former minister of defense and interior says there are numerous violations in the case against her husband Bacho Akhalaia. Akhalaia was arrested with various charges and sentenced to about four years in prison only for one of the cases. In two other cases Akhalaia was justified. Ani Nadareishvili was invited to a political talk-show Archevani (The Choice) on Rustavi2 on Tuesday. The show was dedicated to the controversy around Akhalaia’s trials.

Nadareishvili says they have already appealed to the European Court of Human Rights with complaint regarding these violations. She also said all this period they felt the support of Georgia`s outgoing president Mikheil Saakashvili.

The lawyer of ex-official also accused the court of deliberate delay of the trials, however, the representative of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) ruled out violations in Akhalaia’s trials. (Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili pardons one more former official

President Mikheil Saakashvili has pardoned one more person convicted in the so-called prison riot case and awarded him with Order of Vakhtang Gorgasali of the first class.

Revaz Charbadze, a former chairman of the purchasing department of the Defense Ministry, was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail for abuse of powers and mistreatment during a prison riot in 2006.

Charbadze was convicted in absentia. He left Georgia in 2012 and is wanted by Interpol. Former Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia and six other people received the same sentence in the trial.

A few days ago, the president pardoned Akhalaia and published an open letter to explain his decision. On Tuesday, he also pardoned Charbadze awarding him for ‘merits in Georgia’s defense ability.’

“I thank him for bringing back the belief that Georgians can make the right decision for the hardest technical tasks with the right organization and leadership,” the president explained.

Charbadze’s mother was there to receive the distinction on his behalf.

“The time will soon come when Rezo (Revaz Charbadze) and specialists like him will be able to return to Georgia and participate in the next wave of building,” Saakashvili said. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)