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The News in Brief

Friday, March 12
Boris Berezovsky denies he met Mikheil Saakashvili in Batumi

Boris Berezovsky has denied reports of a meeting between him and President Mikheil Saakashvili in Batumi, though noting that "he is ready to meet anyone willing to make Georgia part of Western civilization."

Berezovsky told InterpressNews by telephone that as Russian special services continue spying on him he is forced not to comment on his movements. He added however that he loves Georgia and he retains his interest in the country. Therefore he is ready to meet and have business relations with anyone, even President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.

Leader of The Whites Temur Shashiashvili stated yesterday that the abovementioned meeting had taken place. (Interpressnews)

Poland's Prime Minister does hold meetings in Georgia

The Prime Minister of Poland is holding meetings in Tbilisi. Yesterday Donald Tusk's plane landed in Tbilisi, Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri welcomed him and he was led to the Chancellery. There his first official meeting took place. The Georgian and Polish Prime Ministers discussed issues of political and economic cooperation.

As part of the visit Tusk went to Hero Square and laid wreaths on the memorial to the Heroes who died in the fight for Georgia's unity. The Polish Prime Minister also met representatives of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia, which Poland participates in.

The delegation from Poland held meetings with Foreign Affairs Deputy Ministers Gigi Bokeria and Davit Jalaghania and representatives of other Ministries. They discussed questions of bilateral relations. They underlined the importance of Poland's support for the integration of Georgia with EU bodies. Poland once more underlined its unquestionable support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. (Rustavi 2, GHN)

Zurab Noghaideli: I have never wanted to be the only favourite of Moscow

Zurab Noghaideli, the ex-Prime Minister, has said in response to the visit to Moscow of ex-Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze that he has never had a wish to be the only favourite of The Kremlin, GHN reports.

"I have never had a feeling of exclusiveness or a wish to be the only favourite of The Kremlin. Everyone must have relations with Moscow, including the present Government," Zurab Noghaideli said.

The leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia added that there are many personal interests in Russian-Georgian relations which make the improvement of these relations difficult, but at the same time "it is necessary to overcome this barrier, unite Georgia and give it a chance of development."

Nino Burjanadze is the second Georgian opposition leader to visit Moscow to hold negotiations. (GHN)

Vano Merabishvili pays official visit to Bahrain

Minister of Interior Affairs of Georgia Vano Merabishvili has paid official visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Press Service of the MIA states that the Minister held meetings with Interior Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain Mohammed bin Khalifa al Khalifa and the head of its Security and Special Forces Directorate. The sides discussed the prospects of deepening bilateral cooperation between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Georgia in the legal sphere and drew up plans for the future. (Interpressnews)

Putin's opponents urge him to resign

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s opponents are urging him to resign. 350 signatures have been appended to an open address published in the Russian Daily newspaper in which politicians, human rights defenders, musicians and writers condemn Putin's regime for violating human rights and encouraging criminality and corruption in Russia. They say this corruption comes from the upper layers of the Government.

"No reform is feasible in the country while Putin rules Russia. Putin has turned into a symbol of corruption, therefore, the only slogan that must be uttered at rallies is - Putin Must Go," the authors of the letter say. They do not rule out the Russian Government beginning a campaign of repression soon. (Rustavi 2)