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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 27
Georgian justice minister changes first deputy

The Georgian justice minister has replaced her first deputy after the new government was approved by Parliament. Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani explained on Monday that she has known Davit Jandieri since the time when he was her intern for three months at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Tsulukiani described the last year as “a test in endurance, seriousness and correct procedures for everyone”.

As Jandieri’s replacement, she named Alexandre Baramidze, the deputy justice minister, who will be promoted to first deputy. Alexandre Burchuladze and Gocha Lortkipanidze will continue to work as her other deputies and chairman of the National Enforcement Bureau Mikheil Sarkveladze will be her fourth deputy.

Jandieri, who was appointed as first deputy justice minister after the parliamentary elections in 2012, responded to Tsulukiani’s statement on his Facebook page. He said that he thinks he has been loyal during the last year and found it rewarding to work with other ministry employees.

He thanked the current and former prime minister for their support and recalled the first time he met Tsulukiani.

“I met Thea Tsulukiani at the European Court of Human Rights, where I was an intern as lawyer.” he writes. The Minister of Justice got to know me better when I defended the rights of Sandro Girgvliani’s family in the European court and when I sought to be chairman of Georgian Dream’s election administration in Nadzaladevi, Tbilisi, during the parliamentary elections.” (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgian Foreign Ministry discusses agenda of 26th round of the Geneva talks

Georgian representatives at the Geneva talks met with co-chairmen of the negotiations at the Foreign Ministry on Monday. The Georgian side was represented by First Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani. The parties discussed the agenda of the 26th round of the Geneva talks, to be held on December 17th-18th.

Georgian officials stressed that it is necessary for Russia to be committed not to use force, which is of particular importance considering the provocative policy of Russia along the line of occupation.

The Georgian side once again expressed its concern with the installation of barbed wire and other artificial barriers by Russian soldiers on the line of occupation between South Ossetia and Georgia proper. This has negatively affected the safety of the local population and the humanitarian situation.

In this context, the two sides stressed the importance of establishing international security mechanisms and human rights monitoring in the occupied regions. (Trend)

Petriashvili leaves for Belgium

State Minister for Reintegration Affairs Aleksi Petriashvili has left for Belgium to discuss Georgia-EU cooperation issues with NATO authorities a few days prior to the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.

Petriashvili will participate in the NATO-Georgia Commission and hold bilateral meetings. The minister will also meet with the NATO Secretary General to discuss Georgia’s cooperation with NATO and EU in the future.

“The NATO-Georgia commission will meet to discuss Georgia`s annual national program. We will hold meetings with NATO ambassadors after meeting with the NATO Secretary General. This is a very significant meeting, because, as we have learnt, Georgia will receive a very positive assessment of its annual national program implementation.” Petriashvili said. (Rustavi 2)

UNM to nominate mayoral candidate via primary

The United National Movement (UNM) will select its candidate for the Tbilisi mayor’s race by using primaries. According to MP Mikheil Matchavariani, the UNM will nominate all its candidates for mayoral races self-governing cities by using primary ballots.

Matchavariani has slammed the government of Georgia for failing to adopt the law on self-governance. “We do not know what the law on self-governance will look like. The government has failed to adopt the law on self-governance six months prior to the elections. The UNM decided to reveal candidates for all elections, as we did for the presidential election, via primaries not only in the 18 self-governing cities, but in all regions of Georgia.” Matchavariani said. (Rustavi 2)

Minister of Internal Affairs meets with ambassador of Israel

Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Georgia Aleksandre Tchikaidze held an introductory meeting with Ambassador of Israel to Georgia Yuval Fuchs. Ambassador Fuchs congratulated Chikaidze on his appointment as minister and noted Israel’s successful cooperation with the MIA. Both parties discussed already existing bilateral cooperation and future plans, especially in the context of recently signed agreements about visa-free travel and the fight against crime.

Both parties expressed hope in further strengthening cooperation between Israeli and Georgian law-enforcement agencies. (Rustavi 2)

Search renewed for the missing captain of the Stella

The Ministry of Economy will finance a renewed search operation for the missing captain of the freighter Stella, which went down in the Aegean Sea on November 3rd.

A search was conducted after the accident, but the captain, Levan Tebidze, was not found, and after two days the search was called off.

“We have reached an agreement with the Sierra Leonean and Greek governments and will implement a several day long search operation,” Minister of the Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Monday.

He added that the search will start in a few days and that his ministry will help fund it, after consulting with the Maritime Agency.

The small freighter Stella was built in 1967 and was flying a Sierra Leonean flag. It had left Aliaga in Turkey and was on the way to Cyprus without cargo when it hit a reef near the Greek island of Karpathos on November 2nd.

Five Georgian crew members were rescued, and a search was conducted for the missing captain. A few days later, the captain was declared lost and the search was suspended. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)