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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 8
Georgian officials offer condolences to Azerbaijani nation

Irakli Gharibashvili offered his sympathy to the people of Azerbaijan. “The tragedy that took place in the Caspian Sea is a great hardship for our friends in Azerbaijan,” reads the statement released by the Prime Minister of Georgia.

The Prime Minister conveyed his condolences to the Azerbaijani people on behalf of the people of Georgia.

“The Caspian Sea tragedy claimed a number of lives. Some remain missing and unaccounted for. This is a great hardship for our Azerbaijani friends. I want to offer our condolences to the Azerbaijani people on behalf of the people of Georgia. We are beside you during these difficult days”, says the statement.

According to the Presidential Administraion, President Giorgi Margvelashvili offered his condolences to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev over a telephone conversation.

Giorgi Margvelashvili promised to help Ilham Aliyev in any way the Azerbaijani President might need.

The two sides also talked about the security issues in the region and continuing the fight against terrorism, and emphasized the need to exchange of information as an effective way to solve the problem.

UNM Opts Not to Elect New Chairperson

The former ruling and now opposition United National Movement (UNM) party said it will not elect a new chairperson to replace Mikheil Saakashvili, who was recently deprived of his citizenship and, consequently, also the right to be a chairman of a political party in Georgia.

The announcement was made after a meeting of the UNM’s main governing body, political council, on December 5.

Saakashvili, who has been the leader of the UNM since the party was founded in 2001, was re-elected as the party’s chairman in October, 2013.

UNM MP Nugzar Tsiklauri said after the political council meeting, the party has decided that Saakashvili will remain its leader, even though he is no longer the party’s chairman.

“Mikheil Saakashvili is the founder of this party; Mikheil Saakashvili is also the unchallenged leader of this party so there is nothing – legal action or other means – that can sever the link between the United National Movement and Mikheil Saakashvili,” MP Tsiklauri said.

“The party has been run based on a team governance model for three years already; there is a political council, a chairman of the political council and a secretary general – these bodies take decisions in the party, therefore there is neither need nor expediency whatsoever to elect a new chairperson,” MP Davit Bakradze, leader of the UNM minority group in the parliament, said on December 5. “We will accomplish the main task and defeat this government in the 2016 elections.”

President’s Administration has new chairperson

The Administration of the President of Georgia has a new chairperson.

Giorgi Abashishvili, who previously served as President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s Adviser in Economic Issues and Deputy Head of the President’s Administration, was appointed to the position.

The announcement comes following a Presidential decree.

Abashishvili replaced Davit Pataraia in the post after he resigned due to personal reasons, the Administration said.

Pataraia had been in the role since June 19, 2014.

Georgian immigrants living in Greece expect official apology from the country

Georgian immigrants living in Greece expect an official apology from the country in regards to an incident in Athens. According to them, the international tourist exhibition administration has already expressed their apologies after Abkhazia was showcased at the Athens International Tourism Fair. The breakaway republic was represented by the so-called Abkhaz Chamber of Commerce.

The immigrants have also requested a meeting with the Georgian Ambassador. The Ambassador has already discussed the case with the exhibition organizers who explained the misunderstanding.

Georgian immigrants living in Greece protested against the display and forced the organizers to remove the Abkhaz-language banner. They replaced the banner with a Georgian national flag and a banner saying Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia.
(Rustavi 2)