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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 7
Traffic to be banned from Laguna Vere to Queen Tamar Bridge ramp at night

Traffic will be banned from Laguna Vere to Queen Tamar Bridge ramp till April 17, - Tbilisi City Hall has reported.

‘The restriction is linked with repairs. The alternative roads will be available at these days, via Vakhushti Bridge ramp, Heroes Square and Kostava Street. Tbilisi City Hall offers apologies for the inconvenience’ reads the statement. (IPN)

In Phone Calls with Armenian, Azerbaijani FMs, Georgia’s FM Stresses Need for Ceasefire

Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze, spoke by phone with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts on April 4 and “expressed his extreme concern over the recent escalation of situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone,” the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

It said that Janelidze stressed the urgent need for “cessation of hostilities and ensuring peace” and also expressed hope that it will be possible to “de-escalate” the situation through international community’s efforts.

The Georgian MFA released two separate, and almost similar, readouts of Janelidze’s respective phone conversations with his Azerbaijani andArmenian counterparts.

The Georgian MFA’s readout of phone conversation with the Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian also says: “The Georgian Foreign Minister underlined that continuation of military actions will aggravate the current situation and will have a negative impact on the stability in the region.”

Georgia’s Defense Minister, Tina Khidasheli, also spoke by phone with her Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts.

Georgia’s PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili convened a meeting of senior government, parliament and security officials on April 3 to discuss conflict between Georgia’s neighbors, Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh region, where renewed fighting has killed dozens.

Speaking at NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum in Tbilisi on April 4, PM Kvirikashvili expressed “concern over escalation of situation in our neighborhood.”

“We hope that it will be possible de-escalate situation through efforts of the international community, which is so important for peace and stability in our region and beyond,” the Georgian PM said. (

Usupashvili: Partnership with UNM ‘not serious’

Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili flatly denied allegations that the Republican Party of Georgia, commonly known as the Republicans, was considering a partnership with the United National Movement (UNM) before the parliamentary elections in October, 2030 reported.

‘We can’t speak seriously about a partnership with the United National Movement’, Davit Usupashvili said during the interview at the GDS TV’s political talk show ‘2030’ on Tuesday evening.

The Republicans left the ruling Georgian Dream coalition last week and announced they would run as an independent party in the upcoming elections.

Mr. Usupashvili said the Republicans were looking for partners to work with in the future Parliament, but they weren’t interested in cooperation with the UNM.

‘The raison d’etre of every political party is to exercise influence over society and to be present in the government. A party which takes part in the elections in order to win a couple of mandates and be in the opposition is not a political party. It’s as if you wouldn’t like to earn in business. The Republicans, for the forty years of their existence, have been in power for just 3.5 years. We spent the remaining years in opposition, yet it had its certain charm. We are ready to find partners in the future Parliament, but we can’t speak seriously about a partnership with the United National Movement,' Usupashvili said.

The Republican Party of Georgia and the United National Movement, together with Our Georgia — Free Democrats, are regarded the most articulate advocates of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic foreign policy course.

The UNM lost to the Georgian Dream coalition in the 2012 elections. Their current de jure leader is Davit Bakradze, although the party maintains strong ties to its founder, the former president and current Governor of Odessa Oblast,Ukrine, Mikheil Saakashvili.

The Free Democrats under the leadership of former Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania left the ruling Georgian Dream coalition in November 2014. Tinatin Khidasheli of the Republicans now serves as the current Minister of Defence. (DF watch)