The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, January 12
I was stunned by the support of Georgia - French Ambassador

I was stunned by the support of Georgia, French Ambassador to Georgia Renaud Salins said told the Public Broadcaster while assessing Georgia’s reaction to the recent developments of France.

He said the reaction showed a connection with democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech. According to him, the tragedy of France caused the same reactions in Georgians as in Americans, Australians and other democratic countries.

"I was stunned by the support. The ministers and the president came to the Embassy. Tamar Beruchashvili sent a number of the messages from Riga. I received many messages from the government, the opposition, the religious community and ordinary citizens. The tragedy of France caused same reactions in Georgians as in Americans, Australians and other democratic countries. Georgians showed connection with democracy, tolerance and freedom of speech. The Georgian society is a progressive community. France cooperates with Georgia in counter-terrorism issues. Georgia is one of the most trusted allies in the fight against terrorism", - said Salins.

According to him, today everyone understands that democracy, tolerance and freedom are the targets and therefore, the issue has become a universal problem.

"If we talk about similarity, the main similarity is that the target is the same in this case too - freedom of expression, tolerance, democracy, and also the reactions caused by these events in the world. I was very touched when I was looking at the campaign "I am Charlie’’, including in Georgia. Today everyone understands that democracy, tolerance and freedom are the targets and therefore, the problem has become a universal issue. This means that we all belong to the same world, we share the same principles and we want to protect them in the same way", - Salins said.

Ilia II condemns Paris Terror Attacks

His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Archbishop of Mtskheta and Tbilisi, Metropolitan of Bichvinta and Tskhum-Abkhazia has condemned the terror attacks occurred in Paris.

The Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia sent a letter of condolences to French President Francois Hollande.

“Your Excellency! On behalf of the Georgian Orthodox Church, I would like to express our deepest sorrow over the terror attacks occurred in Paris. We condemn these attacks and offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the French people. This is not a tragedy of one country; everyone must think about it; moreover, terror attacks have become more frequent in the recent years.

We think that the leading democratic countries and international organizations should do their best to take preventive measures in order to avoid terrorist attacks.

We ask God to give us peace on earth and goodwill toward men”, says the letter of condolences.

MIA continues rescue operation in Kazbegi

The Georgian Interior Ministry’s Border Police’s helicopters have transported more than 200 tourists and passengers from Kazbegi to Ananuri.

They were stranded in Kazbegi due to heavy snowfall.

The Interior Ministry’s Border Police’s helicopters transported up to 70 people from Kazbegi to Tbilisi yesterday.

Drugs seized by MIA

Georgian Police officers have detained Rati R. on drug-related charges.

“The officers of the Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti Regional Main Division of the MIA detained Rati R. (Dob 1989) for the illegal purchase and possession of drugs in large quantities.

During the personal search of the detainee, law enforcers seized 8 pills of suboxin which according to expertise contains buprenorphine. Drug tests revealed that Rati R. was under the influence of buprenorphine at the moment of his detention.

The detainee has already pleaded guilty and the investigation is in progress.

Helicopters transport hundreds off snowy Kazbegi

More than 200 people including tourists from Russia and Armenia have been helicoptered to safety after spending several days trapped in the snowy mountain town of Kazbegi.

The border police of Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said helicopters transported the large group of people – foreigners and locals – to safety after heavy snow and bad weather left them trapped in the small mountainous town in north-eastern Georgia for several days.

The bad weather conditions meant the people were unable to leave the area through other means of transport, experts said.

More than 10 flights carried the passengers to Ananuri in Georgia’s Dusheti region, situated 60km from Tbilisi.

Dusheti Governor Vazha Chokheli said the people would be transported to Tbilisi by minibus and their expenses would be covered by the local municipality.

Mtskheta –Mtianeli Governor Nugzar Kipiani added the transport would take the passengers to one of the Metro stations in Tbilisi.

"The transport is ready. [Included in the group are] Georgians and other nationalities, especially from Armenia and Russia,” Kipiani said.

The first recovery flight to Kazbegi was carried out yesterday where 70 people were uplifted from the snowy village.

Snowy weather have created serious problems in various parts of Georgia, especially in the mountainous regions and bordering areas. Travel and road restrictions were partly removed in some areas today.

Georgia’s military chief holds top meetings in Afghanistan

Georgia’s top military official is on an official visit to Afghanistan.

Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF), Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze has met NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of United States European Command, General Phil Breedlove at Bagram Air Base.

The two Generals talked about Georgia’s contribution to the Resolute Support mission and the country’s future plans.

Following the meeting, General Breedlove visited the military servicemen of the 51st Battalion of V Infantry Brigade of the GAF.

Within the visit to Afghanistan, Major General Kapanadze also met with Commander of the Resolute Support mission, 4-star General John Campbell, as well as with Command Sergeant Major Delbert Byers and Brigadier General of Turkish Armed Forces Safak Gok.
Resolute Support mission

After the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission ended at the 2014, training, advice and assistance for the Afghan security forces is continuing through a new, follow-on NATO-led mission called the Resolute Support mission. This international mission was officially launched on January 1, 2015.

Approximately 12,000 personnel from within NATO and partner nations, including Georgia, will be deployed to participate in the mission at some point. The mission was planned to operate from one central hub in Kabul at the Bagram Air Base and four satellite stations in Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Laghman.

Key functions of the mission include:
• Supporting planning, programming and budgeting;
• Assuring transparency, accountability and oversight;
• Supporting the adherence to the principles of rule of law and good governance; and
• Supporting the establishment and sustainment of such processes as force generation, recruiting, training, managing and development of personnel.