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The News in Brief

Friday, November 28
Great Britain supports territorial integrity of Georgia

Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili, during her visit to the United Kingdom, presented detailed information on the most recent events and situation in Georgia, the Foreign Ministry informed Black Sea Press on Thursday.

On 25-26 November 2008 the Minister met with UK Minister for Europe Caroline Flint, the Prime Minister’s Chief Foreign and Security Policy Adviser Simon McDonald, Chairman of the Select Foreign Affairs Committee Mike Gapes, All Party Group on Georgia Chairman Bruce George and Shadow Minister for Europe Mark Francois. The sides discussed the role of the EU and OSCE in the ongoing processes in Georgia, the prospects of enhancing cooperation with European and Euro Atlantic structures and ways of further strengthening bilateral ties with the UK. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expressed her gratitude for the support and assistance of the UK to Georgia. The British side once again reiterated its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and for the deepening of its integration with the EU and NATO.

Tkeshelashvili also spoke about the latest developments in Georgia at The International Institute for Strategic Studies, her speech being followed by a discussion. This event was attended by the representatives of think-tanks, the diplomatic corps and media. Tkeshelashvili gave interviews to the world’s leading channels and newspapers (the BBC’s Hard Talk programme, Reuters, Aljazeera, NBC Universal News, Channel 4, Financial Times, The Economist). (Black Sea Press)

Former Ambassador to Russia asked to name initiators of conflict

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission investigating the events in August 2008, Paata Davitaia, called on former Ambassador of Georgia to the Russian Federation Erosi Kitsmarishvili to name the persons, who, in his opinion, had provoked the August events in Georgia.

On Tuesday Kitsmarishvili said that he had information about some political figures, who had provoked the hostilities in South Ossetia in August 2008. “Under the regulations of Parliament laid down for this Commission, I call on Kitsmarishvili to name on air and in the press those persons who caused the hostilities in August 2008,” Davitaia stated at a press conference on Thursday. If this does not happen, the Chairman of the Commission intends to appeal to the General Prosecutor’s Office, asking that criminal proceedings be brought against Kitsmarishvili which would force him to name these persons. (Black Sea Press)

PACE to consider relations between Russia and Georgia

The consequences of the armed conflict in South Ossetia and the relations between Russia and Georgia will be the focus of the sittings of two leading bodies of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), the Bureau and the Permanent Commission, RIA Novosti has been informed by a source in the PACE administration.

“The sitting of the PACE Bureau will be held on November 27 in Madrid, when it is expected that the agenda of the forthcoming winter session of the Assembly at the end of January will be approved,” the source said. “It is planned that head of the Assembly Luis Maria de Puch will ask the Bureau to consider the implementation of the resolution “on the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia” passed in October. At the forthcoming sitting deputies will exchange opinions on the consequences of the events in August,” the source noted.

Another source said that at the sitting of the Permanent Commission on November 28 Russian-Georgian relations and events in South Ossetia would also be the central themes. The Parliamentarians will consider the implementation of the provisions of the October document. He could not answer the question of whether any sanctions against Russia and Georgia would be discussed.

On August 26, after the conflict between Georgia and Russia, Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. PACE discussed the situation in South Ossetia at its autumn session in October. The resolution asked Russia to annul its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and declared that the Russian side was responsible for events in South Ossetia. Parliamentarians did not support the initiative of radical deputies to deprive the Russian delegation of the right to vote, but it noted that PACE would return to the subject of Russia-Georgia relations at the January 2009 session. (Black Sea Press)

Assistance must be spent honestly – Vice-Premier of Georgia

State Minister of Georgia for Integration into European and North Atlantic structures, Vice-Premier Giorgi Baramidze, stated on Thursday after meeting EU representatives that assistance allocated by international donor organizations must be employed purposefully and transparently.

“We feel a responsibility to society and our friends to ensure the honest, adequate and purposeful employment of allocated resources and amounts. Everything must be done to answer all questions,” the Vice-Premier noted.

Black Sea Press was informed at the Press Service of the European Commission Representative Office that a representative of the EU was in Georgia to hold meetings in connection with the use of the aid which Georgia received in October, $4.5 billion in total. The next tranche of this aid, amounting to $500 mln, will be transferred to Georgia in a few weeks and will be used for rendering assistance to IDPs, the implementation of humanitarian projects and supporting democratic reforms. (Black Sea Press)

Separatists to establish visa regime with Georgia

Georgian breakaway region South Ossetia plans to establish a visa regime for persons entering it from Georgia.

“Block posts will be built on the border of South Ossetia in three months. There will be only one check point left. We have to develop a visa regime with the Republic of Georgia and everyone who wants to visit South Ossetia from Georgia will have to address the Foreign Ministry of South Ossetia to get a visa,” said the leader of the Ossetian separatists Eduard Kokoity.