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The News in Brief

Friday, July 1
Consulate of Georgia in Istanbul addresses Georgian citizens

According to the Consulate General of Georgia in Istanbul, some Georgian passengers departed from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport for Tbilisi at 18:10 on Thursday.

The Foreign Ministry calls on citizens who plan to travel to Georgia from Ataturk Airport to arrive at the airport a few hours earlier due to the multitude of people at the Ataturk International Airport caused by delayed flights.

Turkish Airlines and Atlas Global will operate the flights to Tbilisi.

Two more flights will be made from Istanbul to Tbilisi later.

At need, passengers can call the Consulate of Georgia in Istanbul at (+90 541) 818 44 00, the Embassy of Georgia in Ankara at (+90 312) 690-30-40 or the Consulate of Georgia in Trabzon at (+90 541) 326-22-26.

Security has been stepped up throughout Turkey. (IPN)

Georgia’s rugby coach Milton Haig awarded top state prize in sport

The coach of Georgia's national rugby team, Milton Haig, has been honoured for his successful work developing Georgian rugby with a special state award at a reception at the New Sports Palace in Tbilisi earlier on Thursday.

Haig was awarded the title of the Cavalier of Sports of Georgia to recognise the New Zealander's efforts and share in the national team's recent international success.

The top state prize was handed to the national team coach by Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Tariel Khechikashvili at the reception, which also involved players of Georgia's senior and U20 national rugby teams.

Established in 2012, the title of the Cavalier of Sports of Georgia is granted to athletes and coaches who achieve special success for Georgia. The title is also awarded to the country's Olympic champions and figures who contribute to charity and the development of sports infrastructure in Georgia.

The prize has been awarded to top sports figures including Georgia's five-time world chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili and three-time Olympic medal-winning shooter Nino Salukvadze.

The honouring of Haig's work as Georgia's national coach follows the Lelos' successful appearance at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. At the international tournament the Lelos impressed fans and experts alike and gained automatic qualification for the next tournament in Japan in 2019.

The Lelos also achieved more success earlier this month during their first-ever tour of friendly test matches in the Pacific islands.

Georgia scored two wins and one draw against Samoa, Tonga and Fiji within the three-match tour to return home unbeaten.

The result also saw the Lelos achieve their highest-ever position in the World Rugby rankings as the team moved ahead of Japan to 11th.

Finally, Georgia's junior national team made history with their first ever appearance at the U20 World Rugby Championship in England, also held this month.

The young Lelos were promoted to the top junior tournament after winning the 2015 World Rugby U20 Trophy in Portugal.

At the World Rugby Championship, Georgia's emerging rugby stars performed strongly against leading rugby nations France and Wales and were praised after claiming a win against Italy on June 21.

Georgia's Sports Ministry is currently preparing to host next year's U20 World Rugby Championship in Georgia. (

Defence Minister Addressed Participants of Political Conference

In the framework of a conference entitled "The Changing Geopolitics of the Caucasus Region"m an official dinner was held at the Funicular Restaurant. The Georgian Defence Minister attended the event as a specially invited guest.

Tinatin Khidasheli delivered a keynote speech during the meeting. She spoke about the upcoming Warsaw Summit, NATO policy toward its eastern flank and Black Sea security.

“With the variety of opportunities open to us, the Warsaw Summit is also a great challenge for all of us. Our communication strategy is also important, as well as how successful it will be during and after the summit. Whatever happens with the EU, the alliance firmly stands on its integrity policy. Strengthening NATO's eastern flank and acceptance of Montenegro will positively affect our development and success. Looking at Montenegro, we can say that the open door policy works. Strengthening NATO in the Black Sea region is an opportunity for Georgia. The country is ready to join all the security projects on the Black Sea, because we are an integral part of this region. We’ve had many discussions in Brussels and NATO capitals that if there are serious talks about Black Sea security, then there is no security of this region without Georgia.

“But when we talk about the shift of the balance in the Black Sea, we should acknowledge that Romania and Bulgaria are not targets; Georgia and Ukraine are the main targets in this region,” Tinatin Khidasheli said. (