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The News in Brief

Wednesday, July 30
Georgian-Russian relations discussed with Swiss senator

Chairman of Georgian parliament, David Usupashvili held an introductory meeting with the head of the Georgian-Swiss Parliamentary Friendship Group, Senator Filippo Lombardi on July 28.

Usupashvili expressed satisfaction with the growing friendship between the parliaments of the two countries, a source in Georgian parliament told Trend.

The meeting participants stressed that during the meeting it will be made clear which spheres requires stronger cooperation.

The parliament speaker familiarized the guest with the activity of Georgia's legislative body in the last session and added that the parliament had a very fruitful year.

He emphasized the ratification of the association agreement with the EU and approval of the renewed government composition.

They also touched upon the stages that will follow the ratification of the association agreement and discussed the situation in Georgia's occupied territories.

Lombardi said he has visited Georgia to get better acquainted with the country, as well as the positions of the politicians on improving the Russian-Georgian relations.

"Switzerland is a mediator between the two countries, and we want to see the relationships between them become more balanced," he stressed.

Large scale military action was launched between Georgia and Russia in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008.

Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August.

In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories. (

A United Nations (UN) top official praises Georgia’s progress in improving basic human rights.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Issues Navanethem (Navi) Pillay wrote a letter to Georgian Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili and thanked him for Georgia’s "open and candid discussion” about the state of human rights in Georgia during her visit to Georgia in May 2014.Pillay noted that Georgia’s progress in developing human rights was a good foundation to implement an EU-funded human rights project that would assist Georgia implement the National Human Rights Action Plan."I am very encouraged by the progress that Georgia has achieved in the human rights domain. Furthermore, I am very pleased that the Parliament of Georgia has in recent months ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, passed the Law on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and adopted the National Human Rights Strategy,” she said. Pillay urged Usupashvili to do his best to ensure legislation was passed that protected the right to privacy for all people living in Georgia, in accordance with international standards.

"My hope is that Parliament will also soon consider legislation aimed at creating an independent mechanism to investigate allegations of wrongdoings by law enforcement officials,” she noted. The UN Commissioner stressed the importance of Usupashvili’s personal leadership in strengthening the human rights culture in Georgia and encouraged him to emphasize the need for respect of human rights of all Georgians in his future speeches. In her letter, Pillay mentioned the importance of the forthcoming annual report of the Georgian Public Defender and advised Parliament to carefully consider the recommendations included in the report."Following the adoption by the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Human Rights Committee of their Concluding Observations on Georgia’s periodic reports this July, Parliaments can play an active role in debating measures to implement the Committees’ recommendations,” she added."I am grateful for Georgia’s positive engagement with my Office and encourage you and your colleagues in Parliament to continue the good cooperation with Vladimir Shkolnikov, OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) Senior Human Rights Adviser for the South Caucasus,” Pillay’s letter read."As you may be aware, the UN Country Team is planning to implement an EU-funded human rights project to assist Georgia in implementing the National Human Rights Action Plan. This project encompasses a number of activities involving the relevant committees of the Parliament. I am confident that the cooperation between OHCHR and the Parliament of Georgia will continue and expand,” she said. (

President’s advisor meets with Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan

The Georgian President’s advisor Sopio Shamanidi has met with the Bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church to Georgia Vazgen Mirzakhanyan.

According to the President’s Administration, the sides discussed problems the Armenian Church now faces and the condition of the National Minority. Sopio Shamanidi also discussed the incident that took place on 19 July. The sides condemned the violence and expressed hope that the investigation will be over soon.

Prospects of future relationship were discussed during the meeting. (IPN)