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The News in Brief

Friday, March 7
PM calls on EU leaders to support Georgia and Ukraine together

The Georgian Prime Minister has sent a letter to the leaders of the EU member states and calls on them to demonstrate their support of Georgia along with Ukraine in the process of European integration at the EU summit in Brussels, said Tamar Beruchashvili, the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, at the briefing held prior to her meeting with the EU ambassadors at the MFA.

The meeting was attended by the representatives of various ministries of Georgia, also, by special representatives from Lithuania, Sweden, France and Romania to the Eastern Partnership Program. The guests traveled to the areas adjacent to the administrative boundary line of the occupied Tskhinvali Region. (Rustavi 2)

Prosecutor’s Office to investigate death of prisoner

The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office will investigate the death of a man who died after a fight between inmates in Geguti Prison. Gigi Partenadze died following a fight with his cellmates on March 5, 2014.

A Ministry of Corrections statement said there was a lot of public interest in the case and the Corrections Minister, Sozar Subari, had personally asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the incident.

"This is aimed to provide maximum confidence in the investigation,” the statement reads.

The case will be investigated by Western Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office.

In a comment to journalists, Patrenadze’s family said that the body of their loved one showed signs of severe beatings. The family was sure Partenadze was tortured and blamed the Geguti Prison administration for the incident.

This is the second time in recent weeks that Geguti Prison has appeared in the media. On February 7, about a thousand prisoners from Geguti Prison went on a hunger strike.

At the time, the inmates accused the prison officials of brutal treatment and demanded the resignation of numerous prison administration staff.

The hunger strike ended on February 12 and the prisoners’ demands were not met. During the hunger strike about 50 inmates harmed themselves with the intention of seeing their protest gain further traction. (Agenda.Ge)

No agreement yet on text of parliament resolution on Ukraine

Georgian Parliament’s intention to adopt a resolution on Russian moves in Ukraine did not materialize on March 5 because of lawmakers’ failed attempt to come up with a bipartisan text.

Lawmakers from both the Georgian Dream ruling majority and the UNM opposition said they would continue efforts to bridge differences on March 6.

A group of lawmakers from both parties were in lengthy consultations on March 5 as the chamber where parliamentary sittings are held in Kutaisi was again decorated with Ukrainian flags in a gesture of support.

But disagreements mainly on whether or not to call for sanctions against Russia made it impossible to draft the text of a resolution, UNM lawmakers said.

GD lawmakers were reluctant to speak about points of disagreement, saying that it would not be helpful to discuss publicly the issue on which negotiations were still ongoing.

Speaker of the Parliament Davit Usupashvili said that a short distance remains for the agreement and added that consultations would continue in order to try to reach a consensus before the parliament reconvenes for a session at 4pm local time on March 6.

“The only difference that we had was related to sanctions against Russia,” MP Akaki Minashvili of UNM party said at a parliamentary session late on Wednesday evening, and expressed regret that some GD lawmakers wanting to strike off the sanctions point from the draft.

He was interrupted by the Speaker of the Parliament, who asked the opposition lawmakers not to start discussing publicly specifics of still ongoing consultations.

On March 4 the UNM distributed its draft of the resolution, which condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and called on the Georgian government to “carry out an active diplomatic campaign for the purpose of diplomatic isolation of and imposing sanctions against the Russian Federation.” (Civil.Ge)

Georgia to be represented at nuclear security summit

Georgia hosted a round table in Tbilisi on the preparation for the summit on nuclear security and the role of Georgia in the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons with the support of the Dutch Embassy.

The discussion was attended by the experts and representatives of the Georgian government and parliament, international organizations and NGOs.

The nuclear security summit will be held in The Hague on March 24-25.

"The main objective of the planned summit in The Hague is to find a way to make safer nuclear materials. We are pleased to actively participate in the Georgia summit. Georgia is an important contributor. It cooperates on nuclear safety with the U.S. and other countries," Acting U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Bridget Brink told journalists.

The Dutch deputy ambassador Angel Samura also commented on the issue. She expressed satisfaction that Georgia sent a large delegation to the summit.

"As a transit country, Georgia plays a very important role in nuclear safety. We are glad that all the Georgian authorities are actively working with us in this direction," Samura said. (Trend)

Georgia, Iran stress importance of keeping long-term regional stability

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour met with Georgia's Interior Minister Alexander Chikaidze and Deputy Foreign Minister David Dzhalaganiya during his visit to the Georgian capital on March 5.

During the meeting the parties discussed cooperation issues and future plans, the Georgian Foreign Ministry told Trend. Rahimpour and his Georgian counterpart David Dzhalaganiya discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation in various areas, including in economy, culture, education and sports.

During the meeting the parties also stressed the positive dynamics of the development of relations between the nations. They also spoke about existing challenges in the region and the importance of preserving long-term security and stability.

The Iranian side also reiterated their support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. (Trend)

Georgia participates in international travel fair in Berlin

The Georgian National Tourism Administration is taking part in the International Travel Trade Show Berlin (ITB Berlin) held on March 5-9.

ITB Berlin is one of the largest exhibitions in the world.

Germany is an important tourism market for Georgia, and that is why the country's tourism administration offered the representatives of the Georgian tourism sector to participate in the fair.

Georgia's stand represents National Tourism Administration, Tourism and Resorts Department of Adjara and 15 private sectors. (Trend)