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The News in Brief

Friday, September 23
Mikheil Saakashvili and Bidzina Ivanishvili have the same vision

“As it turns out, Mikheil Saakashvili and Bidzina Ivanishvili share the same vision regarding the development of a state,” leader of the Republican Party Davit Usupashvili said on Rustavi 2 TV.

He said that the former Prime Minister had completely different visions when he was opposing Mikheil Saakashvili.

"We started to build a completely different state and carried out a lot of reforms over these four years. But at the last moment and, I do not know why, I saw the same thing as in the spring of 2004: we do not want parties; a constitutional majority should be in the hands of one party and we do not need any other force or political vision; we have more important tasks than the democratic system and multi-party parliament in the country.

“Mikheil Saakashvili and Bidzina Ivanishvili have been reduced from the position of a national leader to the position of a leader of a certain political party,” said Usupashvili.

He said the country will face a serious threat if the Georgian Dream will gain a majority of 2/3 or more, while the United National Movement will be the only opposition party in the next Parliament. (IPN)

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Gigi Gigiadze paid a working visit to the Republic of Latvia

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Gigi Gigiadze paid a working visit to the Republic of Latvia in the frames of which meetings with the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics and the head of the Bilateral Relations Directorate at the Foreign Ministry, Margers Krams, were held.

Discussions focused on bilateral and multilateral co-operation, including Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The Latvian side reaffirmed its strong support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

In the frames of the visit, Gigi Gigiadze held a bilateral meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Daniela Morari, to discuss issues of bilateral and multilateral co-operation.

The Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister took part in a discussions entitled “Eastern Partnership One Year After Riga: Where Next? Insights from Latvia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine” held at the Riga Graduate School of Law. State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics, the Moldovan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Daniela Morari, and Acting Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Committee on European Integration, Mariia Ionova, took part in the discussions moderated by Director of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Andris Spruds. The second part of discussions continued in a Q&A format.

The discussion was organised by the embassies of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in Latvia under the aegis of the Latvian Foreign Ministry and the Latvian Institute of International Affairs and attended by representatives of the Latvian legislative and executive branches, diplomatic corps accredited in Latvia, think-tank centres and students of the Riga Graduate School of Law.

After the discussions, Gigi Gigiadze gave an interview to one of the most popular Latvian newspapers, Diena. (

Abkhaz Leader’s Office Comments on Ex-FM Chirikba

Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba’s office said on Wednesday that Viacheslav Chirikba “was not re-appointed” as foreign minister after the change of the PM because of his refusal to travel to Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria out of fear of being deported by the Moldovan authorities.

Chirikba said in a brief written statement late on Tuesday evening without specifying that he did not see any possibility of staying at the position “in the existing circumstances” and expressed hope that Abkhazia’s “foreign political course will remain unchanged”.

Chirikba’s announcement came about seven weeks after Abkhaz leader Raul Khajimba appointed the chief of his administration and former head of the Gagra district, Beslan Bartsits, as the new Prime Minister of the breakaway region, replacing Artur Mikvabia.

Bartsits, who was appointed as PM on August 5, has since then re-appointed most of the incumbent cabinet members; Chirikba was formally an acting foreign minister since the appointment of the new PM.

“The main reason why he [Chirikba] was not re-appointed was his refusal to lead the Abkhaz delegation, traveling to the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic on the occasion of celebration of the Republic Day [marked on September 2], citing that in case of deportation by the Moldovan side, he might have had problems with entry to the European countries,” Abkhaz leader’s office said in a written statement on September 21.

The Abkhaz deputy foreign minister, Oleg Arshba, was on his way to Transnistria on September 1, when he was stopped by the Moldovan authorities and sent back from Chisinau airport.

The Abkhaz leader’s office also said that “despite the change of head of the Foreign Ministry, the foreign policy of the Republic of Abkhazia remains unchanged, as according to the Abkhaz constitution, foreign policy is determined by the president and not by a minister.”

Chirikba, who served as breakaway region’s foreign minister since October 2011, was also the chief Abkhaz negotiator at the Geneva international discussions – a negotiating format launched after the August 2008 war and which also includes participants from Tbilisi and Tskhinvali, as well as Russian and U.S. officials; talks are co-chaired by EU, UN and OSCE representatives. Next round of the Geneva talks are scheduled for October 4-5.

It is not yet clear who will replace Chirikba as the breakaway region’s foreign minister. RFE/RL’s Russian-language Ekho Kavkaza reported from Sokhumi on September 21 that adviser to the president of the World Congress of the Abkhaz-Abaza People, Beslan Kobakhia, and chief of government’s administration, Daur Kove, who was deputy foreign minister in 2006-2010, are reportedly being considered among possible candidates to replace Chirikba. (