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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 17
There is lack of love, and family has lost the importance it should have – Patriarch

“Family is one of the most important attainments of humanity,” Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II said at the 10th World Congress on Family.

"As one of the Indian verses says - the hall of love has been emptied. Indeed, there is lack of love and family has lost the importance it should have. Family is an institution established by God and it is the basis of human existence, prosperity and the strength of states. Family is not an accidental meeting of a man and a woman; it is a legal union between a man and a woman and it needs great attention. This should not be lost by humanity,” he stated.

The 10th World Congress on Family is underway in the Great Concert Hall of Tbilisi.

Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia to hold joint military exercises

Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia will hold joint military exercises, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov said at a press conference May 15.

Hasanov made this statement following a meeting of the defense ministers of the three countries in the Azerbaijani city of Gabala, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.

"We considered it appropriate to hold trilateral joint exercises to improve combat readiness and mutual vigilance of the three countries, cooperate in the field of military training in a trilateral format, develop cooperation in the field of cyber security and hold exercises for the protection of oil and gas pipelines," the minister said.

Hasanov said that the sides intend to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

"The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, which is being coordinated, will be the basis of the legal framework of our cooperation," Hasanov said. "This will also enable our trilateral activity to pass to a new level. New projects are planned to be implemented in the future proceeding from this format," Hasanov said.

The minister also stressed that the sides discussed the issues on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.

Georgia plans exhibitions & oath-taking ceremonies on May 26

Georgia will mark Independence Day on May 26 in most of the cities and towns all over the country by organizing different events.

There will be no military parade this year. Instead, exhibitions of military equipment are planned in Tbilisi's centre, and recruits will swear oaths in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi, as well as in several other places across the country.

Georgia has not conducted military parades since its change of government in 2012. The last parade was held in Kutaisi in 2012.

Military equipment involved in the joint Georgian-American-British military exercise Noble Partner 2016, which started on May 11 and ends on May 25, will also be on a display.

Government bodies, as well as private companies, will organize exhibitions, games, a market and other events on Rustaveli Avenue and other places in Tbilisi as well as in other cities and towns. Corners will be organized for sport activities, entertainment for children, as well as scientific and information zones.

At the end of the day, a concert will be held in front of the parliament building with fireworks.

During Soviet rule, May 9, the day commemorating victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany and its allies in the WW2, was a stage of major celebrations and a Red Square-style military parades in Tbilisi.

However, it has lost its luster after the collapse of the USSR, and since then the focus has switched towards May 26, commemorating the proclamation of Georgia’s independence from Tsarist Russia in 1918 by the newly formed government in Tbilisi led by the Social Democratic party, i.e. Mensheviks.

In February 1921, Georgia was invaded by Bolshevik Red Army units.

Georgia declared independence from the USSR on April 9, 1991, however Independence Day is still marked on May 26.
(DF watch)