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The News in Brief

Monday, September 15
Georgia Sends Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine

A cargo plane took off from the Tbilisi airport on Thursday evening, delivering 12 tons of humanitarian aid, mainly medical supplies, to Ukraine.

The aid, worth of about GEL 1 million (USD 570.000), was agreed when Georgian healthcare minister, Davit Sergeenko, visited Kiev in late August.

The aid includes first aid and surgical kits, medical supplies, diabetes medicines, antibiotics and children vaccines, according to the Georgian healthcare ministry.

“We keep in touch with our Ukrainian colleagues and we can send more medicines and medical supplies if requested [by the Ukrainian side] or send our doctors and bring their patients to Georgia for treatment,” Sergeenko told journalists in Tbilisi airport, where he attended loading of cargo together with Ukrainian ambassador to Georgia.

“We are grateful to the Georgian government and PM Irakli Garibashvili,” said Ukrainian ambassador Vasyl Tsybenko. “This is yet another clear confirmation that our two people, two countries stand together in good times and in bad times.”

Giorgi Abashidze arrested in Batumi

The son of the former renegade leader of the Adjara Region, Giorgi Abashidze was arrested in Batumi during the special police control late night on September 12th. The detainee was held at the police department whole night and was released only next day.

According to the Ministry of Interior, the blood test confirmed that he had taken narcotics; consequently, Abashidze was fined.

The lawyer of the former leader`s son, Ramin Papidze said the detention of his defendant is not connected with the police control, but it is in the interest of some individuals. He also said Abashidze was together with his friends, but the police detained only him.

The Rustavi2 crew shot the video how he was taken to the police department, but Abashidze refused to comment.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgia sets sights on becoming regional logistics hub

Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili has told the World Economic Forum in China, that his country has its sights set on becoming a logistics hub in South Caucasus and Central Asia.

He also called on international leaders to strengthen cooperation at regional level and open their eyes to big opportunities despite challenges in the South Caucasus and Central Asia regions.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Thursday, at the "Scenarios for the South Caucasus & Central Asia” session, Kvirikashvili said "economic obstacles” that impeded the realization of the region’s potential had to decrease.

"The region and particularly Georgia has significant untapped potential and successful development depends on close cooperation,” Kvirikashvili said.

"Since Georgia signed the Association and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements with the European Union the potential of the country to become the hub of transportation, trade and logistics on the region, has increased.”

The Economy Minister believed Georgia’s new investment environment made the country more attractive for potential foreign investors.

He also spoke about the benefits Chinese businessmen would see if they invested in Georgia’s transport and industry sectors.

China's Premier pledges to strengthen economic ties with Georgia

In the framework of the 2014 Summer Davos Forum, Kvirikashvili met the Premier of China, Li Keqiang.

The meeting focused on Georgia-China relations, particularly strengthening trade cooperation and cooperation in the tourism sector.

"China's Premier expressed greatest interest to further develop a partnership cooperation with Georgia. Georgia has to use this opportunity as I believe China’s investments could surge Georgia’s economic potential,” Kvirikashvili said.

In 2013 China’s total direct investment in Georgia’s economy reached $89.9 million USD out of the total $941.9 million USD which was invested in the country, ranking China third of the top ten investor countries.

In 2012, China ranked in ninth position, with $36.1 million USD in foreign direct investments in Georgia.

Meanwhile China was Georgia’s fifth largest trading partner last year with a total turnover of $597.5 million USD.

Georgia’s Patriarchate releases statement

“On 12 September, 2014, Ilia II, Patriarch of Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia, hosted Mehmet Gormez, President of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, at the Patriarchate of Georgia.

The two sides expressed their willingness and desire of cooperation. They have set up a joint commission, which will work on various problematic issues”, the statement says.

According to the statement, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II raised the issue of Georgian cultural monuments located in Georgia's historic province of Tao-Klarjeti that is now within the territory of Turkey.

“The President of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate expressed hope that the Aziziye Mosque and the Akhmed Mosque will be restored in Georgia”, the statement says.

According to the statement, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia as well as the President of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate condemned incidents occurred in Georgia (A pig's head was nailed to the door of the Muslim boarding school in Kobuleti on September 10) as well as in Turkey (an ancient Georgian church was destroyed in the town of Phaza, Lazeti, on 14 May, 2014).

“The parties agreed that such meetings will contribute to the strengthening good neighborly relations between the two countries”, the statement says.

Justice Minister comments on discord between the President and the government

Minister of Justice of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani says the controversy regarding the complicated communication between the government and the president of Georgia can be in the interests of the National Movement. She says the government has not contributed to the process in any form.

“If anybody can benefit from and be interested in this controversy, this is the United National Movement. Therefore, I believe that the president of Georgia and his entourage will do their best for remaining devoted to the mandate granted to us by the people of Georgia, who appointing us on various positions. The Georgian people has not elected anybody from the Georgian Dream for coquetting with the National Movement,” Justice Minister told journalists today.
(Rustavi 2)