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The News in Brief

Thursday, December 19
Georgia appeals to Russia for use of nonviolence

Georgia appealed to the Russian government to sign the document pertaining to the non-use of violence over Georgian territory, during the Geneva discussion on December17-18.

The Georgian delegation, which is led by the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, will evaluate the political and social environment across the occupation line and on Georgian occupied territories. According to the Deputy Foreign Minister, one of the most important topics is human rights in occupied territories.

"We have a lot important issues to discuss on our agenda. However, the major issues are human rights and use of nonviolence over Georgian territory. Georgia has this responsibility unilaterally, and we are hoping that the Russian Federation will do the same,” Zalkaliani said.

The Georgian side also discussed the situation in the Gali municipality (Abkhazia) and the passports issued in Abkhazia. According to the Head of the Abkhazian government, Vakhtang Kolbaia, more than 2,400 passports have been issued illegally in Abkhazian territory.

Talks were launched after the August 2008 war, known as the Geneva International Discussions. They are co-chaired by representatives from the EU, UN, and the OSCE, and involved negotiators from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as from breakaway areas of Georgia, - Sokhumi and Tskhinvali (Agenda.Ge)

Initialing association agreement with EU creates new challenges

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with the Chairman of the Moldovan Parliament Igor Corman on December 17.

On the Georgian side, Head of the Presidential Administration Lasha Abashidze, advisor to the Georgian President in Foreign Affairs Vano Machavariani, and a member of the parliamentary majority Zurab Abashidze, also participated in the meeting. The parties discussed the prospects of bilateral relations. Margvelashvili stressed that after Moldova and Georgia initialed the association agreement with the EU, they are now together on the same path.

"We should understand that it not only gives us opportunities, but also creates challenges and we must be ready for them," the president said. (Trend)

President pardons 75 prisoners

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has pardoned 75 prisoners. Head of the President’s Administration, Lasha Abashidze, said the President signed the pardon decree.

According to him, the decree will be sent to the Ministry of Legal Assistance and Corrections. (InterPressNews)

Saakashvili in New York

A month after leaving office as president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili has revealed that he currently lives in New York and working on reform programs with several major US universities. Appearing on Ukrainian TV 112, Saakashvili said he is involved in several academic programs about sharing his government’s experiences with carrying out reforms.

“I have received really good and serious proposals from leading American universities,” he said.

Before becoming president, Saakashvili studied law in New York. He said in the interview that it is the city he feels most connected to, after Tbilisi and Kiev. Saakashvili said that as soon as he finishes working on the program, he will return to Georgia and get involved with processes here. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgian Foreign Minister meets Queen Sofia of Spain

Georgian Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze met with Queen Sofia within her official visit to Spain. The sides expressed their desire to deepen the relations between the two countries.

Panjikidze invited Queen Sofia of Spain to Georgia. The queen expressed her interest towards the possible visit, according to the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Panjikidze started her visit to Spain on December 17. She will meet the representatives of the Executive and Legislature branches of the Government. A meeting will also be held with her Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. Panjikidze is scheduled to give a speech at the Spanish Royal Research Institute. (Agenda.Ge)

Georgia elected as UNESCO committee member

Georgia will become a member of the Hague Committee for Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict. The country was elected as a committee member for four years at the UNECSO headquarters in Paris on December 17.

A total of 41 countries out of 59 voted for Georgia to become a member. The Georgian delegation at the meeting was headed by Georgian Ambassador to France and representative to UNESCO Ekaterine Siradze-Delaunay.

The Committee for Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict consists of 12 members. It is intended to prevent the export of cultural property from an occupied territory, and requiring the return of such property to the territory of the state from which it was removed. The committee also manages the financial fund of the convention.

"Being a Committee member will enable Georgia to distribute the international efforts for protection of the world’s cultural heritage,” as stated by the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Agenda.Ge)

Parliament receives applications for media accreditation in 2014

Parliament of Georgia starts receiving of applications for accreditation of journalists for covering 2014 Parliamentary sessions. Applications can be submitted from 20 December 2013 through 20 January 2014. Starting 20 January journalists will not be able to use accreditations received in 2013. In order to receive accreditation, heads of media organizations must address with the request the Head of Staff of Parliament Zurab Marakvelidze. In the application must be indicated position, contact information (cell phone number and office telephone numbers), e-mail address, copy of ID card and electronic version of photo.

Filled-in applications must be submitted to the Parliament Department of Proceedings (Kutaisi, 26 Irakli Abashidze Street, PI 4600) or sent to the following e-mail address - (Media.Ge)