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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 9
TI : We identified 70 cases when officials and their relatives were employed at the same or related agencies

Transparency International Georgia has released information about family members of officials who are employed in the same or related agencies.

Transparency International Georgia studied officials’ property declarations and identified instances where officials and their family members are employed at the same or related agencies. Most of the cases were revealed in local government bodies.

“We found 70 such cases in various regions of Georgia.

“Naturally, the cases do not necessarily imply that employment in the public service was carried out in violation of competition rules. However, given the shortcomings in Georgia's anti-corruption law, such a high number of these of cases indicates the existence of a systemic problem and the need for an effective response. At the same time, the study is based only on officials' property declarations and therefore cannot reflect the full extent of the problem,” says the organization. (IPN)

Pankisi native, reportedly ISIS member, killed in Middle East

One more Pankisi native has been killed in the Middle East. Reports vary about where the 24 year old Mukhad Khangoshvili was killed.

According to Interpressnews, which relies on an unidentified source in Pankisi, it happened in Mosul, Iraq, where the Iraqi Army - aided by the US and other Western allies - is fighting to recapture Iraq’s third largest city from ISIS.

Confirming that Khangoshvili was killed in Syria, the Pankisi based radio station Radio Way said he left Georgia on September 13 2013 and went to Syria to join ISIS.

According to Radio Way, Mukhmad served in the personal guard of ISIS’s former military commander Tarkhan Batirashvili, known as Omar Al-Shishani, who was confirmed dead by ISIS in July.

At least 22 young people from Georgia are reported to have died in Syria over the last few years. (DF watch)

Georgia’s Prime Minister announces Italy visit

Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, will visit Italy in January next year and he hopes the trip will stimulate "new economic and cultural relations” between the two nations.

Kvirikashvili announced the details of his upcoming trip on November 7 at a press conference in Tbilisi with Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Paolo Gentiloni.

Gentiloni was in Tbilisi on an official visit and meeting with high level Georgian authorities.

After Gentiloni met with Kvirikashvili this afternoon, the pair said they had discussed a range of issues starting from Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic prospects to regional stability.

Both officials said that despite current close bilateral ties in many sectors, there was "huge potential" for Georgia and Italy to enhance relations in economic and tourism directions.

“Your visit is very important. We take it as confirmation of Italy’s continued support for Georgia,” Kvirikashvili told his guest.

“We have very dynamic relations with Italy in the fields of culture, education and science and I believe very soon we will see successful joint projects in these directions,” Kvirikashvili said at the press conference in reference to two deals signed today between the Foreign Ministry of Italy and Georgia’s Ministry of Education and between the governments of Italy and Georgia.

The deal penned between Italy’s Foreign Ministry and Georgia’s Ministry of Education envisaged cooperation regarding general education, while the second deal between the two countries’ governments concerned enhancing scientific-cultural cooperation.

For his part Gentiloni praised Georgia’s democratic reforms and constant efforts to become the part of the Euro-Atlantic space.

The Italian high official stressed his country supported Georgia‘s Euro-Atlantic goals, as well as its visa liberalisation with the European Union.

Gentiloni also noted Italy's strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. (