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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 24
Resolute Support: Georgian soldiers officially begin duties in Afghanistan

Georgian soldiers are officially engaged in the Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan.

Official authority was transferred from the United States (US) side to the Georgian side at a special ceremony in the capital of Afghanistan that marked the beginning of Georgia’s contribution to the Resolute Support mission.

The NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission is a follow-on mission from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, in which Georgia also participated.

The ceremony marked the official beginning of duties for the Combined Company of the 31st Light Infantry Battalion of the III Infantry Brigade of the Georgian Armed Forces.

From today, the Georgian military contingent will carry out their full duties, which mainly involved providing security to the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Georgian side will serve in the mission for six months.

To mark the occasion, a ceremony transferring authority to the Georgian Combined Company was held at the Resolute Support headquarters in the Afghan capital.

Senior Military representative of Georgia to Afghanistan Colonel Mamuka Kavtaradze and Resolute Support headquarters leaders attended the event. The anthems of Georgia, the United States and NATO were performed.

Reinforced Company Commander, Captain Giorgi Jalagonia was personally transferred authority from the Commander of the First Squadron of 1/82 Cavalry Regiment of Oregon State’s National Guard.

Meanwhile at the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, Georgia and other ISAF contributing nations underlined their commitment to continue supporting Afghanistan after the ISAF mission officially ended in 2014.

Late last year NATO allies and partners launched the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, a non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces and institutions.

Georgian soldiers have served under the Georgian flag for the past four years on a rotation basis in the ISAF mission. A total of 750 Georgia soldiers will serve in the Resolute Support mission, meaning Georgia will remain the largest non-NATO contributor to Afghanistan.

Ticket Sales for Georgia-Germany football match on sale tomorrow

Tickets for the upcoming Georgia-Germany football match will be on sale from March 23.

They will be available daily from 11:00 to 18:00, at the Dinamo Stadium’s cash-desks.

Ticket prices start at 10 GEL, premium ticket sell for 15 and 30.

The match will take place on March 29.

Patriarch initiates celebration of Thanksgiving Day

A Thanksgiving Day has been set by the initiation of Patriarch Ilia II.

The Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated every year on Easter, the Patriarch said in his Sunday sermon. The Thanksgiving prayers and liturgy will be fulfilled in the Svetitskhoveli Church. The Patriarch said marching will be held on Saturday, the day before Easter. According to him, it is preferable, if people arrive in the town of Mtskheta on foot.

"We pray every day, but sometimes we forget that we have to thank the Lord. Hence, the Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated every year on Easter.

The people and the nations that thank God are happy and blessed. All Georgia will be blessed on Easter,” he said.

Head of the Georgian Delegation to GUAM PA, Zurab Abashidze to participate in Baltic Assembly Conference

The conference topic is “EaP from Vilnius to Riga: Achievements, Challenges and Future Prospects” and was attended by the Baltic States, EU experts, Visegrad and Scandinavian countries. Z. Abashidze, the Head of the GUAM PA delegation and GUAM Secretary General, Valeri Chechelashvili also participated in the Conference.

The conference was open by the Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament. Conference participants spoke about EaP Riga Summit agenda.

The Deputy-Foreign Minister of Lithuania spoke about EaP development necessity and called on EU states to AA ratification before Riga Summit and on EaP members to finalize the second phase of visa liberalization for Ukraine and Georgia. “Russia wants to revive Soviet Union. It violates all the agreements, including the Minsk agreements and threats to territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia. Thus, EU shall change the strategy towards these countries and Russia as well. More sanctions are to be enacted against Russia and more economic and political support shall be directed to EaP states”. The same rhetoric was expressed by the Foreign Relations Committee Member. According to him, the countries aspiring to approximate to EU, encountered military challenges from Russia. “EU shall respond to more flexible foreign policy”, - he noted.

MEP demanded more EU efforts to confront the Russian propaganda mechanism. EU fails to deal with it as this propaganda is directed not only against EaP but also against EU values.

Z. Abashidze reminded the participants that EU members, in view of reforming in Georgia ASAP and establishment of relations with Europe and sharing EU values, shall in shortest term finalize visa liberalization process. He noted that Georgia, on its turn, has fulfilled the relevant obligations.

Riga Summit shall gain concrete outcomes for the countries which after the hardest efforts, achieved goals. EU political signal will give the new birth to EaP. He expressed his gratitude to EU states already ratifying EUAA and called on other countries to accomplish this process before Riga Summit.