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The News in Brief

Thursday, August 31
Multinational Drills to Kick Off in Georgia

U.S.-Georgian military exercise Agile Spirit 2017 is to kick off on September 3 at the Orpolo firing range, close to the town of Akhaltsikhe in Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia.

Troops from the Georgian Armed Forces, the U.S. Marine Corps’ European Command, as well as Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Ukraine and Armenia will participate in the exercise, according to the Ministry of Defense of Georgia.

The exercise includes field and staff training components and its key purpose is to improve Georgia’s interoperability with the United States and other partner countries within NATO Response Force.

Exercises will also be held at the armored tank training center in Akhaltsikhe and last until September 11.

Agile Spirit was initially a bilateral U.S.-Georgian military exercise held annually in Georgia since 2011 at the Vaziani military base close to Tbilisi, but since 2015 a number of other countries have joined the exercise.

Agile Spirit comes three weeks after the end of the Noble Partner drills, a major annual military exercise held by the Georgian and U.S. forces together with NATO member and partner nations. (

Iceland Immigration Service publishes updated information regarding Georgian asylum-seekers

The Iceland Immigration Service has published updated information regarding Georgian asylum-seekers that is as it follows:

• Georgia is on the Directorate of Immigration’s list of safe countries of origin.

• In the Directorate’s opinion the situation in Georgia is generally safe and authorities can offer citizens sufficient protection.

• Georgian citizens are therefore generally not in need of international protection.

• Applications will be processed in priority procedure and rejected within few days.

• Rejected applicants will be expelled from Iceland and prohibited from returning to the Schengen area for two years.

• Applicants are registered by the police, interviewed by the Directorate of Immigration and receive legal assistance from the Icelandic Red Cross.

‘On July 19, the immigration service released a statement on putting Georgia on the list of the safe countries. Therefore it will no longer provide Georgians with an asylum and send them back to Georgia,’ Georgian Ambassador Gigi Gigiadze has declared. (IPN)

Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili named 2016 Best Freestyle Wrestler

United World Wrestling (UWW), the international governing body for the sport, has named Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili as Best Freestyle Athlete 2016.

Petriashvili has won the gold medal at the Wrestling World Championship that took place in the French capital of Paris last week.

Petriashvili, who is a two-time world bronze medalist and a bronze medal winner at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, has won the 125kg champion’s belt with a hard-fought 10-8 victory over Taha Akgul of Turkey, who had been seeking to secure a world title for the fourth year in a row.

Together with the title of the last year’s best freestyle wrestler, UWW President Nenad Lalovic awarded Petriashvili with $10,000 USD. (