The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, December 2
PACE imposes sanctions against Georgia

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has imposed a sanction against Georgia. According to the official webpage of the PACE, the Bureau of the Assembly, meeting in Vienna, took note of the opinion of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs on "The case of Vassiliy Likhachev (Russian Federation, UEL), who was prevented from participating in the pre-electoral mission for the observation of the presidential election in Georgia" and decided that the Assembly and its committees should not hold any meetings in Georgia for a period of two years.

This measure may be lifted early by the Bureau if the Georgian authorities guarantee the freedom of movement of Assembly members in Georgia when on Assembly business, the PACE statement says.

The Committee on Rules of Procedure session was held in Vienna on November 21.

The chairperson of Georgia’s interim Commission on Restoration of Territorial Integrity Gia Volsky said that work on this issue continues.

“The committee on Rules of Procedures gave recommendations about this. It is impossible to impose sanctions for two years. There are no big events planned in this period,” Volsky said.

The former Ambassador of Georgia to France, Mamuka Kudava, says that there is nothing tragic in the decision of PACE.

“It is our price to pay for the law on occupation that we adopted and that is necessary for our state. Most importantly, the visits of the monitoring mission in Georgia don’t enter the presumably scheduled events,” Kudava said.

Georgia renames ministry: not reintegration but reconciliation

The Georgian government has decided to change the name of the Reintegration Ministry into the Ministry of Reconciliation and Civil Equality.

The name change will come into force on January 1, 2014. The minister who heads the renamed ministry, Paata Zakareishvili, said after a government session on Friday that the new name is more neutral.

He says that the current name of the ministry often was the subject of criticism and interrupted relations with the breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Zakareishvili also said he had been requesting to change the name of the ministry for more than a year, but ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili never signed the document.

“There are two directions at the ministry – conflicts and integration of ethnic minorities,” he explained. “Reconciliation will apply to solving conflicts, while civil equality will refer to our citizens who have problems with integration.”
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

State Minister meets with NATO Secretary General

State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, Aleksi Petriashvili, has met with the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at the NATO head office in Brussels on Wednesday.

The meeting was held in the framework of the NATO-Georgia Commission and it was also attended by the first deputy minister of foreign affairs of Georgia, Davit Zalkaliani.

At the meeting, the Alliance hailed the implementation of the terms of the Annual National Program in 2013; it was announced that Georgia has achieved qualitative and essential progress by meeting the terms of the program and by carrying out democratic processes, which brought Georgia closer to NATO.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian government approves new charter for governors

The Georgian government has approved a new charter for governors. Georgian Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure David Narmania said on Thursday that the charter envisages a new rule of introducing governors. Moreover, it includes the structural changes.

The administration service and the regional project and problem coordination service will be subordinated to the governor's office.

According to Narmania, a service on emergency situations will be temporarily subordinated to the Governor Office, but in the future it will be transferred to the Interior Ministry.

"It should be stressed that the governor's administrations must carry out reorganization within 60 days after the charter is approved," the minister said.

Tbilisi to host the sixth meeting of GUAM PA

Tbilisi will host the sixth meeting of GUAM Parliament Assembly on December 2-3.

Delegations from Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Poland, Latvia and Estonia will participate at the meeting.

The agenda includes the issues related to the geopolitical environment of GUAM and its impact on cooperation within the GUAM format; political relations, European and Euro-Atlantic integration, prospects of sectoral cooperation, global challenges and joint steps.

The meeting will be opened by the chairman of GUAM PA, Zurab Abashidze. The Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, David Usupashvili, will attend the meeting.

A final document will be adopted at the GUAM PA meeting. There will also be held bilateral and multilateral meetings within it.

Georgia invites applications for selection of candidates to Board of Trustees of GPB

Georgia will invite candidates to become members of the Board of Trustees of the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB).

The invitation was announced by the chairman of the Georgian parliament on the basis of Articles 24 and 25 of the Law On Broadcasting and plans to select nine candidates to the Board of Trustees of the GPB.

According to the country's legislation, a candidate to the Board of Trustees must be a Georgian citizen, enjoy the trust and recognition of society, have a master's degree or its equivalent academic degree, a length of work service of no less than 10 years, including at least five years of experience in the fields of journalism, human rights protection, finance, electronic communications, art, science and/or education.

The deadline for nominating candidates to the Board of Trustees is December 12, 2013.

Those wishing to take part must submit an application to the chair of the Georgian Parliament.

Tamar Gverdtsiteli performs Georgian songs with orchestra in St. Petersburg

Singer Tamar Gverdtsiteli held a concert with a symphony orchestra in St. Petersburg, performing songs in different languages, including pop versions of Georgian pieces. Gverdtsiteli was dressed in an original black dress that featured paintings by late 19th and early 20th century Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani.
(Georgian News)