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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 13
Foreign Ministry: Georgia's integration into NATO develops vigorously

Georgia's integration into NATO is developing dynamically, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said on November 11.

"A visit of the North Atlantic Council on June 26-27 was of particular importance. At all the meetings, NATO allies noted Georgia's progress in its democratic development and Euro-Atlantic integration. The Georgian side hopes that the alliance will appreciate this progress and therefore we will take the next concrete step towards the implementation of the decision taken at the Bucharest NATO summit to achieve substantial progress," Panjikidze stressed.

She paid special attention to the relations of Georgia with the United States.

"Georgia continues to deepen strategic relations with the United States of America. During the last period, Georgia was actively working with Congress. In this regard, a visit to the U.S. by a Georgian delegation in July should be noted.

"We hope that in the future our cooperation within the framework of the Charter on strategic partnership will deepen even more in all directions. Currently the focus is on active Georgian- American consultations on bilateral trade relations and an increase of investment. As is known, this is a high level meeting in the framework of the Charter on strategic partnership. Hopefully by the end of the year, we will be able to organize it," the Foreign Minister said.

She noted the past four months have been quite fruitful in terms of relations with European countries as well.

"In particular, at the level of Foreign Ministers about 30 visits were made. Every meeting was focused on three issues: holding free and fair presidential elections in Georgia, the Vilnius summit and territorial integrity and the situation in the occupied territories. Of note European diplomats constantly express support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration," Panjikidze stressed. (Trend)

Georgian Prime Minister to announce his retirement in late November

A week after the inauguration of the new Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili, the third extraordinary congress of Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia will be held on November 24, the party's Executive Secretary Armaz Ahvlediani said on November 11.

According to him, at the party's congress, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will make an official announcement of his retirement from politics.

A new chairman of the party will be elected at the congress and it is expected that the future Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will take over the post, Ahvlediani said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the congress will consider a variety of issues including the changes in the party's charter and the adoption of the final document. (Trend)

Free trade agreement will bring very good results if it is used properly - Philip Dimitrov

The free trade agreement will bring very good results if it is used properly, said EU Ambassador to Georgia Philip Dimitrov. Dimitrov addressed participants of the investment conference organized by Georgia’s Trade Chamber.

According to him, despite some difficulties connected to cohabitation this year, there was a peaceful and exemplary transition of power in Georgia which was another step towards the EU.

“We will continue to support Georgia. The free trade treaty will bring very good results if it is used properly. It enables to decrease unemployment and poverty. We are ready to stand beside you,” Dimitrov said.

Representatives of Georgian and foreign companies participated in the business forum. The event was being held within the framework of the EU-initiated East Invest project. (InterPressNews)

Akhalaia’s supporters rallied at prison

A rally supporting the ex-minister of defense and interior, Bacho Akhalaia, was held outside the No.9 prison on Monday night after the Appeals Court discussed his case. Members of the Free Zone NGO and United National Movement opposition party assembled outside the prison, where the former official is held. They said it was a shame for the nation to have a patriot like Akhalaia in prison, adding Akhalaia defeated crime and now he was a personal prisoner of Bidzina Ivanishvili.

“They have no evidence that Akhalaia or Merabishvili may obstruct or evade the investigation, therefore, the fact that he is in prison today is due to political motives,” the UNM members said. (Rustavi 2)

10 candidates apply for GNCC membership

Applications for the vacant position of a member of the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) have been submitted by ten candidates; among the candidates are: Konstantine Khajalia, Zaur Otiashvili, David Jikia, Giorgi Kharatishvili and Miron Chigogidze.

Applications have also been submitted by Tea Goguadze Apfel, living in Berlin and businessman Otar Patarkalishvili, who became popular after he brought Argentinian football star Maradona to Georgia.

Following candidates have once again applied for GNCC membership: Noshrevan Zhgenti (Akhali Kselebi), Sopio Khorguani (former member of the Georgian Party) and Giorgi Choladze (Georgian Media Holding).

Outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili announced competition for GNCC membership for the second time as Parliament did not approve any of the three candidates nominated by President after the first competition. Among those three candidates was Giorgi Choladze. MPs did not vote for his candidate either, although he submitted application for the second time.

Noshrevan Zhgenti and Sopio Khorguani also participated in the first competition although they were not chosen by President among the shortlisted three candidates.

According to the Law on Broadcasting candidate for GNCC membership must be publicly recognized and trusted person with higher education. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili must within 10 days submit to Georgian Parliament 3 shortlisted candidates to the vacant position at the GNCC.

Within 30 days after nomination of candidates (in case of Parliamentary holidays within 15 days after the resumption of sessions) Parliament must by secret ballot vote for a candidate to GNCC membership.

The candidate with the majority of votes of the attending members of Parliament, and no less than one-third of the votes of all members of Parliament shall be selected for the post of Commissioner.

Position of GNCC member is one of the highest paid in Georgia (monthly salary of GEL 13 thousand.) GNCC member position became vacant after Irakli Chikovani, who also took office of Chairman of the Commission before, resigned from post. (Media.Ge)