The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 14
Reforms are aimed at EU and NATO integration as well as Georgia’s transformation as a new country – PM

“Support provided by the West is very important to restrain Russia’s ambitions in the region,” Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has told Die Zeit.

According to him, the Georgian government is resolute in its aspiration to gain NATO membership and are confident Georgia will be successful.

He also stated that Georgia’s decision to become a part of the Euro-Atlantic space is irreversible.

“We want to be closer to NATO and EU membership as much as possible. We face certain obstacles, for example in terms of visa liberalization, but our friends are doing their best in Brussels to accelerate the processes. The reforms are aimed at Georgia’s EU and NATO integration, as well as its transformation into a new country and the improvement of citizens' living standards,” he has said.

According to Kvirikashvili, the process itself is far more important than the goal.

“We are improving our defense structure. Security is an important precondition for economic growth and foreign investments in Georgia. The support from the West is also significant to restrain Russia’s ambitions throughout the region,” Kvirikashvili remarked.

As for relations with the U.S, the Georgian PM says he does not expect any strategic changes.

“We enjoy support in the Congress and Senate; both of them back Georgia’s territorial integration. It is of crucial importance for us,” he stated. (IPN)

Locals rescue two youths from the snow after avalanche

Two young people were pulled out of the snow alive Monday evening after being caught by an avalanche in a mountainous part of Georgia’s Adjara region.

Locals helped the two survive the ordeal. They did not have life-threatening injuries but were taken to hospital.

The head of the Khulo municipality told Interpressnews that the avalanche struck at a time when there was clean-up work ongoing in the village Bodzauri.

“The youth were standing near the car, waiting for the road to be cleared when the avalanche came and covered them,” Besik Bauchadze said.

There were at least five avalanche reports in Adjara on Monday, most of them in Khulo municipality. No-one else was injured. Many villages are experiencing cut off roads and no power supply.

Georgia’s Road Department has made it mandatory for cars without four wheel drive to use snow chains in the mountainous parts of Adjara. (df WATCH)

Georgia’s candidate for UNWTO top job presented in Spain

Spain’s capital has hosted an official ceremony wherein Georgia presented its candidate for the vacant post of Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for 2018-2021.

The ceremony was held last night as part of the election campaign of Georgia's candidate Zurab Pololikashvili to Secretary General of the UNWTO.

The event was attended by Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, the UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai, Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism Matilde Asian, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration Giorgi Chogovadze, representatives of the diplomatic corps, as well as political cultural and business communities of Spain.

The current UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai welcomed Georgian Minister and Georgian delegation and said candidate Pololikashvili had already shared his visions to Rifai.

“I have been the UNWTO Secretary General for almost seven years. Now my mandate expires and I do hope the best candidate would continue my job here, who would further increase the importance of this organisation worldwide,” said Rifai.

At the ceremony Georgian Minister delivered a speech where he talked about the steps taken by Georgian Government for the development of tourism and stressed the tremendous role of the UNWTO in this process. Furthermore, Janelidze highlighted the UNWTO’s role in economic growth and inclusive advancement of Georgia.

The Minister believed Georgian candidate Pololikashvili would make a significant contribution to the achievement of ambitious aims and goals of the UNWTO.

Pololikashvili currently served as a Resident Representative of Georgia at UNWTO and Ambassador of Georgia to Spain.

The Secretary General position at the UNWTO for 2018-2021 will be selected in May 2017 by an Executive Board comprised of 33 nations. (