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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 11
PACE president resigns amid controversy about Syria trip

A Council of Europe official resigned on Monday after a controversial visit to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

Pedro Agramunt announced his resignation as president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in a letter on Monday. A plenary session in Strasbourg the same day was scheduled to debate a motion for his dismissal, but the debate was called off.

In accordance with PACE rules, British conservative politician Sir Roger Gale automatically becomes acting president as the most senior assembly vice president, until the election of a new president at the assembly’s next part-session.

The motion to dismiss Pedro Agramunt was backed by 158 assembly members.

“We, the undersigned, consider that the President of the Parliamentary Assembly no longer enjoys the confidence of the Assembly, on the grounds that his behavior seriously harms the reputation of the Parliamentary Assembly and tarnishes its image,” the document says.

Four out of five Georgian assembly members signed the motion, as well as all members of the Armenian delegation and none of the assembly members representing Azerbaijan.

Agramunt caused controversy after he traveled to war-torn Syria in April and met with President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier, human rights activists criticized him for his work as PACE rapporteur on political prisoners in Azerbaijan, accusing him of being close to the regime in that country, and pointed out that did little to highlight the numerous violations of human rights there.

The Council of Europe is an inter-governmental organization unrelated to the European Union primarily working with protecting human rights, rule of law and democratic values. It has 47 member countries spanning Europe, Caucasus and Eurasia. (DF watch)

Georgian PM, Iranian Labour Minister meet in Tbilisi

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Iranian Minister of Labour Ali Rabiei met in Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 10.

Rabiei is paying a visit to Georgia to attend an inter-governmental economic commission session between Georgia and Iran tomorrow.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Kvirikashvili and his Iranian colleague discussed a variety of issues including trade-economic co-operation and tourism.

Speaking about the ongoing reforms in the country, Kvirikashvili emphasised Georgia is a positive investment environment.

The parties positively estimated bilateral economic cooperation between Georgia and Iran and the activities of the joint economic commission. (

Temperature to drop in Georgia

Cold weather is expected in Georgia. Rain and thunderstorm is forecast, and the temperature will drop to 16-21 degrees.

As reported by Meteorological Prognosis Center, Svetlana Nioradze has told IPN that cold air masses will cover entire of Georgia on 11 October.

Weather will be better on 12-13-14 October, but rain will still continue. We expect bad weather again from October 15,’ Nioradze has remarked. (IPN)