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The News in Brief

Monday, June 16
Court orders review of Sakdrisi Gold Mine cultural status

A court decision has annulled a Ministerial decision to suspend Sakdrisi Gold Mine’s status as a historical monument.

The Sakdrisi Gold Mine, one of the oldest gold mines in the world, could have the title reinstated after Tbilisi City Court overturned Ministry of Culture’s legal act to remove the mine’s status as a place of cultural importance, which was imposed in 2013.

In Court today, the judgment partially upheld a lawsuit by Georgian non-governmental organization Green Alternative and said the Ministry of Culture would have to further discuss the issue of Sakdrisi as a historical monument once again.

The Court said the Ministry violated procedures and made the decision to suspend the historical monument status of Sakdrisi Gold Mine without archaeological council.

Ten days ago Tbilisi City Court overturned the Ministry’s decision to allow Russian-owned mining company RMG Gold to continue mining at Sakdrisi Gold Mine.

MFA of Georgia does not confirm the kidnap of 16 Georgians in Iraq

No Georgians have been kidnapped after Sunni Islamist militants overran the Iraqi city of Mosul.

The statement was made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia after negotiations with the Iraqi Government today.

As the head of the Ministry's consulate unit, Giorgi Tabatadze says, 16 Georgians are moved to secure places in Baghdad and Erbil. He said the ministry was currently working to return back the Georgian citizens to their homes despite part of them were having problems with visa matters.

Earlier today, international news agency Reuters cited United Nation human rights spokesman Rupert Colville as a source of the kidnapping.

At a briefing Colville told journalists the 16 Georgians were employed at an Iraqi telecommunications company in Mosul when they were kidnapped. Colville said numerous other human rights violations had been committed by the militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) organization.

The Georgian consulate in Jordan accredited in Iraq could not confirm the information. He claimed all Georgians in Iraq were safe. On another note, the diplomatic mission could confirm five Georgians had been detained due to passport-related violations.

Acting Georgian Consul in Jordan, Berdia Bekauri, said Mosul Airport had been evacuated because of the rising tense situation. He said 25 Georgian citizens worked at the airport and five of them had problems with their documents.

Bekauri said all five Georgians had been taken to the Immigration Office and would be sent home to Georgia once mistakes in their passports were corrected.

Meanwhile according to UN estimates, the militants’ offensive this week may have killed several hundreds of citizens in Iraq, while almost a thousand others were injured, Reuters reported.

Georgian Foreign Minister visits Great Britain

On the 10th-12th of June 2014, the Georgian Foreign Minister, Ms. Maia Panjikidze paid a working visit to Great Britain to take part in the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, hosted by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Mr. William Hague and the Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ms Angelina Jolie. The Summit was attended by the state leaders and politicians from 130 countries.

The Georgian Foreign Minister has been personally invited to the United Kingdom by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague. The Summit adopted a declaration, which was signed by the delegations of all attending countries.

During her working visit, Ms. Panjikidze met the head of the inter-parliamentary group of British Parliament working on Georgian issues, Mr. Mark Recklees and other members of Parliament involved in the group, with whom she discussed various issues concerning the relations between the two countries; concerning the current situation in Georgia and the activities the Georgian Government is carrying out. Talking points included, also, Georgia's progress in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration; signing the EU-Georgia Association Agreement and its subsequent implementation. British members of Parliament expressed their support for Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The Head of the Russia and Eurasia Programme, Mr. James Nixey invited Ms. Panjikidze to take part in an event at the Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs, where she delivered a speech "Georgia: European Ambitions and Regional Challenges". The Georgian Minister informed the attending audience on the ongoing democratic reforms in Georgia; on Georgia's economic and investment potential; Georgia's foreign policy; on the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories; and on the relations with Russia. In conclusion, Ms. Panjikidze answered the guests' questions.

During the visit, the Minister met the members of the executive council of the British Petroleum (BP) and together with the Georgian Prime Minister, Mr. Irakli Garibashvili attended the ceremony of official presentation of the TBC Bank at the London stock exchange.

“There are signs of ethnic cleansing in occupied Abkhazia” – Mamuka Areshidze

There are signs of ethnic cleansing in occupied Abkhazia, expert Mamuka Areshidze said on Friday while commenting on head of the Forum of Abkhazia People's Unity party Raul Khadzhimba’s statement.

“No one will burn their houses and expel them from the region, but under the de-facto legislation, a person who does not have Abkhaz citizenship, does not have the right to own property. In fact, this is a sign of ethnic cleansing. People have two ways: they can abandon Georgian citizenship or leave the region”, Abashidze said.

We remind you that on, June 12, all passports issued in Gali, Ochamchire and Tkvarcheli were declared invalid by head of the Forum of Abkhazia People's Unity party Raul Khadzhimba.

“These passports were issued by illegal commissions. We know that the vast majority of residents of the Gali region are ethnic Georgians. 25-26 thousand passports were issued by illegal commissions. These people will not take part in the presidential elections, until the problems regarding their passports will not be solved”, Raul Khadzhimba said at a briefing on Thursday. According to him, those people who received these passports will continue to live in Abkhazia.