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The News in Brief

Monday, December 19
We’re trying to provide children of Aleppo with humanitarian assistance- PM Kvirikashvili

“We are trying to provide the children in Aleppo with humanitarian assistance via the UN office,” Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili said while attending the service at Makhata mountain, Tbilisi on Saturday.

He has wished all Georgian children to have happy childhood.

“A very beautiful temple is being built at Makhata Mountain. This is a very significant feast. Saint Barbare is the patron of children and first of all I would like to wish all Georgian children happy childhood. I must inevitable mention the situation in Aleppo, Syria. We are now trying to provide the children being in Aleppo with humanitarian assistance by means of the UN office,’ he has remarked.

Georgia’s Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Barbare on December 17.

Opposition in Abkhazia ends protest, deal struck with de facto authorities

A more than 14 hour long protest ended on Friday with negotiations between opposition leaders and the embattled de facto leader of the Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia.

On December 15, hundreds of people converged on the government building in Sokhumi, the capital city of Abkhazia, demanding the resignation of the current de facto president Raul Khajimba.

Another rally, in support of the acting head of the breakaway region, was held nearby. Later, Khajimba announced that following the talks with opposition leaders, agreement had been reached, so he would not step down.

Khajimba offered the opposition high government positions and agreed to limit his power, local media reported.

Following the negotiations, Sergey Shamba, the leader of the political party United Abkhazia, said that the president and the opposition leaders reached an agreement to stabilize the political situation in the region.

As a result of the negotiations, the opposition leaders and the authorities of the breakaway Abkhazia signed an agreement on social and political stability, according to the Echo Kavkaza, a Russian language online news service reporting on the Caucasus. The document was signed by President Raul Khajimba, parliament speaker Valery Bganba and leader of the Block of Opposition Forces Aslan Bzhaniya, who was detained and questioned by the Russian police in Sochi in early November.

The agreement says that the de facto president, the parliament and opposition groups will cooperate to appoint a vice prime minister, new Constitutional Court judges and a new prosecutor general of the breakaway region.

According to Apsnypress, Khajimba scheduled elections for Abkhazia’s assembly on March 12, 2017.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia, but failed to achieve recognition. The bloody Abkhazia War in 1992-93 ended in more than 200,000 internally displaced people and a political stalemate that has lasted until today, with Russia propping up the separatist regime in Sukhumi.

Adjara was reintegrated through force by President Saakashvili in 2004, but the two remaining conflicts remain unsolved and were further entrenched with the Russo-Georgia War in 2008, after which Moscow recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, established military bases there and signed military treaties. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are seeking a non-use of force commitment, which Georgia rejects from a view that the de facto authorities are illegitimate. Instead Georgia considers the territories occupied by Russia.
(DF watch)

Tbilisi hosts first ever French-German Regional Ambassadorial

For the first time, Tbilisi has hosted a French-German Regional Ambassadorial with the participation of delegates from foreign ministries of France and Germany.

The event held on Friday was attended by the Ambassadors of France and Germany to Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Russia and Iran.

“Holding the Regional Ambassadorial in Tbilisi is one more signal that our country is standing on a very important path. The path leads to cooperation, partnership and better integration into Europe,” said Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze.

“Since Georgia restored its independence our relations with France and Germany have developed successfully. Both of these countries have contributed much towards Georgia’s democratic advancement,” Janelidze added.

Meetings of four working groups were held within Ambassadorial, where participants discussed regional political, security and economic issues, and the policies of French and German sides in these areas.