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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 23
Margvelashvili speaks about latest Russian moves

“We warn our friends and partners around the world, that such crisis will always take place, if we don’t have a strong position towards Russia's foreign policy,” Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili told reporters in Japan on Tuesday.

"Our neighbor, the Russian Federation is on the international agenda. We have witnessed a very aggressive policy of Russia since the beginning of this year. Russia occupied Georgia’s territories in 2008; it occupied Ukraine’s territory in 2014. Russia still continues its aggressive policy toward Georgia. It continues to annex Georgia’s territories. We condemn these actions and warn our friends and partners around the world, that such crisis will always take place, if we don’t have a strong position towards Russia's foreign policy”, Margvelashvili said. (Frontnews)

Germany concerned by new Russia-Abkhazia treaty

The "Alliance and Integration” agreement recently offered by Russia to the Abkhazian de facto regime has been assessed by Georgian and German top officials as a continuation of Russia’s annexation policy.

Germany shared Georgia’s concern over Russia’s plans towards Georgia’s breakaway region, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said after she met her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin yesterday.

The two Ministers said Russia’s actions were aimed against Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They also stressed Georgia’s northern neighbour intended to deter Georgia from getting closer to European and Euro-Atlantic structures.

"The German Foreign Minister noted Germany supported Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Panjikidze said.

"My colleague said this issue would be one of the topics to be discussed during his communication with Russia.”

Panjikidze was in Germany on a working visit. (

Muslims in south of Georgia plan petition to dismiss mufti

Muslims in South Georgia are planning to start a petition to dismiss the country’s mufti, who they claim is illegitimate and gave them false promises.

A few days ago, there was a conflict in the village Mokhe, where an old mosque is going to be turned into a culture house. Local Muslims protested against this and demanded to transfer the mosque to Muslims, while local Orthodox Christians rallied against them claiming that village needs a culture house.

Muslims remembered that the local government and Jemal Paksadze, the Mufti of all Georgia, promised right before the local election in June, 2014, that when the election was over they would give the building to the Muslims.

One of the problems is that almost every mosque in Georgia is registered either as a house, or some other facility, like a culture house, because the legislation is unclear about registering prayer houses. The mosque in Mokhe was therefore not registered as a prayer place, but a culture house, and the government wants to turn it into an actual culture house.

Local newspaper Samkhretis Karibche writes that the Muslims there plan to start collecting signatures in a few days.

“We, the Muslim community of Samtskhe-Javakheti, express distrust toward Jemal Paksadze. He and the government lied to us. We won’t let such a thing be repeated,” Jambul Abuladze, head of the mosque in the nearby village Chela explained.

Paksadze was not in Mokhe a few days ago when people were protesting, and many Muslims were disappointed by his absence.

But he explained that Samtskhe-Javakheti has its own mufti and there is also a local government, so it was not necessary for him to go there.

Jemal Paksadze is head of the Muslims Department, a body created by the government. In an interview with DF Watch, Tariel Nakaidze, one of the founders of another Muslim organization, the Union of Georgian Muslims, said that the mufti is a person who speaks for the government and isn’t seen as an actual religious leader. There are many other Muslim organizations, but the government wants to show off the Muslim Department as if it represents the actual position of all Muslims in Georgia, in his view. (DF watch)

Georgian PM defends travel to US

The Head of the Government Chancellery Maia Tskitishvili responded to reports spread by the "National Movement", which was related to the amount of money spent during the PM’s visit to the USA.

"We’d like to provide the public with accurate and detailed information. First of all, let me tell you that the Prime Minister of Georgia visited the United States twice this year and upon his decision, he did not use a private aircraft during both visits. He traveled by regular flights in order to save the state expenses (about GEL 300, 000). We confirm that the State Chancellery paid GEL 42, 000 for a month-long retrospective of Georgian films held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which is a very important event for the Georgian culture. Information was misrepresented with regard to additional expenses, too. We would like to inform you that not one single Tetri was spent on any member of the delegation at the opening ceremony of the mini-bar, while the rest of the money was spent only on official lunches and meeting services. Therefore, any speculation on this topic is senseless, "- Maia Tskitishvili said. (

Davit Usupashvili meets with Czech officials

Head of the Government of Georgia, Davit Usupashvili, has reportedly met with the representatives of the Czech Parliament Committee for EU Issues. As Mr.Usupashvili told journalists after the meeting, the Czech Republic was and will remain to be a friend of Georgia in Europe as well as NATO.

“Georgia’s Parliamentary Committees are keeping a close eye on the working process of the parliaments of the Visegrad Group Countries. The Czech Republic has expressed its steady support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and has shown its allegiance to the Government of Georgia. It has also expressed its deep concerns regarding the steps taken by Russia. Both sides have once again discussed the most acute issues as well as the present developments in Europe,” stated Mr. Usupashvili. (IPN)