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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 1
Georgia Appoints New Ambassadors to Canada, Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan

President Giorgi Margvelashvili appointed three new ambassadors, to Canada, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Korea.

Konstantine Kavtaradze, who served as Georgia’s ambassador to Sweden and Finland in 2011-2015, was appointed as the ambassador to Canada and the Permanent Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Zurab Abashidze, the former leader of the Free Democrats, will take the ambassadorial post to Kazakhstan.

Georgia’s new ambassador to the Republic of Korea will be Otar Berdzenishvili, who until recently was Georgia’s ambassador to Brazil.

“All three candidates are experienced professionals. We are convinced that this step will contribute to deepening bilateral relations with these countries and to increasing Georgia’s visibility,” President Margvelashvili’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Tengiz Pkhaladze stated after the meeting of the President and the three diplomats on January 30. (

Minister: Far away from Georgia you are serving our national cause

Georgian peacekeepers, namely a platoon of the II infantry brigade, has departed for the Central African Republic to participate in the mission conducted under the EU aegis. According to Georgia’s Defense Ministry, an official deployment ceremony was held in which Minister Levan Izoria addressed the soldiers.

“Each of us contributes to the cause of supporting our territorial integrity and sovereignty…always believe that despite being far away from Georgia, you are serving our national cause of ours,” he said.

Levan Izoria wished the platoon success and emphasized the significance of the international operation.

The platoon will fulfil the EUTM RCA mission for six months. (ipn)

Georgians in Abkhazia protest closure of border crossings

Authorities in Abkhazia have closed the Nabakevi and Otobaya border crossings connecting the breakaway region to Georgia proper.

The closing of the two checkpoints was announced by Lasha Tsaava, head of the legal department of the de facto Cabinet of Ministers on December 28.

Following the closure of the checkpoints, local residents living in Nabakevi held a protest against the closures. A video released by Rustavi 2 TV showed a group of approximately 200 residents of Nabakevi and surrounding villages rallying along the road and waving posters with messages against the decision to close the crossing point.

“We would like to tell the [Georgian] government that we are in Abkhazia and we would like to keep our houses for our children. Georgia should pay attention to us, so that the road is not closed for these children,” a local resident told the Tbilisi-based TV station.

Locals living in Nabakevi and adjacent villages usually travel through the Nabakevi-Khurcha crossing point to neighboring Zugdidi to attend schools, use medical services or engage in trade.

When it comes to trade, Nabakevi and Otobaya border crossings are used by inhabitants in the predominantly ethnic Georgian Gali district to go to Zugdidi city, where they sell and buy goods.

The only public crossing now open is the bridge across the River Enguri near Zugdidi, which extends the travel distance for locals by at least 30 kilometers. Another crossing is also open, but it is exclusively used for reconstruction work on the Enguri hydropower plant and is situated further upstream, near the Jvari settlement.

Mohamed Kilba, Secretary of de facto Abkhaz Security Council, told the Russian state-owned Sputnik news agency that the people protesting the closure of crossing points are not Abkhazian citizens and they do not have the right to impose their demands on local authorities.

“If residents of the Gali district who do not hold Abkhazian citizenship want to protest something they should go and protest it on the territory of Georgia,” Kilba said. (DF watch)