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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 16
Situation in Georgia is clearly extremely encouraging – Federica Mogherini

“It was an issue that not only Ministers discussed, but which I raised to the Ministers in the very beginning – visa liberalisation both for Georgia and for Ukraine - with a clear sense around the table of the Foreign Ministers that this is a priority for the European Union to deliver on that, as Georgia has met the criteria and there is a determination to move forward on that,” EU High Commissioner Federica Mogherini said after the meeting of the EU foreign ministers.

“I am looking forward to the visit of the Prime Minister here,” she added.

“It was considered by all that the situation in Georgia is clearly extremely encouraging, extremely positive and that there is a need on the European Union's side to deliver on visa liberalization,” Mogherini has declared. (IPN)

Georgia Names its Candidate for UNWTO Secretary General

Georgia has named Zurab Pololikashvili, ambassador to Spain and permanent representative to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), for the position of the organization’s secretary general.

Zurab Pololikashvili was re-appointed as Georgian Ambassador to Spain in March 2012. Initially he held this position in 2006, before becoming Georgia’s economy minister in August 2009.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said on November 14 when nominating Pololikashvili that he has played a great role in promoting the country’s tourism potential and attracting foreign investments to this sector. He also noted that Pololikashvili’s background fully meets the eligibility criteria for assuming the UNWTO Secretary General’s duties.

The term of office of the incumbent Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifaia, a Jordanian national, is coming to an end next year. The new Secretary General for 2018-2021 will be selected in May 2017 by the organization’s executive board comprised of 33 nations, according to the Georgian government’s office. (

Saakashvili ally Khatia Dekanoidze resigns in Ukraine

Ukraine’s National Police Chief Khatia Dekanoidze, who was in charge of police reform in the country, stepped down on Monday just a week after the resignation of her compatriot and ally, Odessa Governor Mikheil Saakashvili.

“I’ll be frank and say that we have failed to root out corruption in our (law enforcement) bodies,” Dekanoidze, 39, was quoted by Kyiv Post. Unfortunately my authority and will were not enough for radical change. My function has been accomplished, and that’s why I’m resigning.”

Dekanoidze emphasized that during her tenure she faced number of attempts by politicians to meddle in the work of the police.

“Appointments in law enforcement agencies must not be negotiated with politicians,” she said, adding that it is absolutely necessary to reform the prosecution and justice systems.

Dekanoidze’s resignation was preceded by the same steps of other members of Georgian reformers who moved to Ukraine from Georgia after Mikheil Saakashvili ceded power to his rival, Bidzina Ivanishvili. These include ex-Deputy Interior Minister Ekaterina Zguladze-Glucksmann, Grigol Grigalashvili, ex-head of the National Police’s internal security department, and Odessa Oblast Police Chief Giorgi (Gia) Lortkipanidze.

Yulia Marushevska, the head of Odessa Oblast customs and another significant Saakashvili ally, resigned on Monday. Marushevska was a Euromaidan activist and has headed the region’s customs since October 2015. (DF watch)

Georgian wine envoys visit China's Hunan Province

On November 11-12 Georgian National Wine Agency's chairman George Samanishvili visited Hunan Province in South Central China. He met with vice governor He Zhuxiang and director of Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce Zhou Yue.

As reported by Xinhua News Agency, "Georgia is an important node along the Silk Road Economic Zone. Georgia has expressed strong will to participate and adopted various concrete measures.

“In recent years China is becoming the sixth largest investor in Georgia and the fourth largest trading partner of the country, with frequent high-level visits and growing economic cooperation. Since January 2016, Georgia exported 4.3 million bottles of wine to China, and China has become the second wine exports market for in Georgia.

"We attach great importance to the development of cooperative relations with China and the vast Chinese market, the establishment of the Georgian wine centers," pointed out George Samanishvili.

During the visit, George Samanishvili participated in the opening ceremony of the International Commodities Exhibition and Trade Center of the Takahashi Grand Market in Hunan Province. He met with the officials of the Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce to attend the first official promotion meeting of the Georgian wine industry. (IPN)