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The News in Brief

Friday, June 11
Georgia thanks Ukraine for non-recognition of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia

Georgia thanks Ukraine for its non-recognition of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze has said in Kiev at a press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart Konstantin Grishenko, Ukrainian news agency Unian states.

"I want to thank the President and Foreign Minister of Ukraine for the statements they made regarding the territorial integrity of Georgia," Vashadze stated. He said that this once more proves that Ukraine plays a stabilising role in the region and is on the side of international law.

President Viktor Yanukovich stated several days ago that he was against violations of territorial integrity, specifically the recognition of Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia. He noted he had never recognised the legality of any actions which violate state integrity and borders. (Interpressnews)

Rasmussen: NATO's door remains open for Georgia

"NATO's door remains open for Georgia, but we will focus on reforms," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in his opening speech at the NATO Defence Ministerial in Brussels yesterday.

The Secretary General added that as Georgia's recent local elections were an encouraging sign of progress NATO would continue to support the ex-Soviet state. He said that the Alliance was waiting for Georgia to conduct necessary reforms before it can enter the bloc.

Rasmussen also outlined the key priorities of NATO at present, which are security and the Afghanistan peace mission. Rasmussen called on Alliance member states to train Afghan police officers and send more troops to the conflict area.

During the two day Ministerial, Georgian Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia will attend the NATO-Georgia Commission session. (Rustavi 2)

Medicine prices rise in Georgia

The significant fall of the GEL against the USD has caused a rise in medicine prices in Georgia, pharmaceutical companies Aversi and PSP have told Interpressnews.

The companies can not determine the percentage increase, but explain that prices will automatically fall as soon as the GEL rate goes up. (Interpressnews)

NGOs discuss situation in occupied territories

Shota Malashkhia, Chair of Parliament's Temporary Commission for Restoring Georgia's Territorial Integrity, hosted representatives of various NGOs in Parliament yesterday. The Commission members and NGOs discussed the situation in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. They also spoke about the role of the NGO sector in conflict resolution.

Shota Malashkhia reported on the work of the commission during the past two years. A similar report will be given to MPs at a plenary session today. (Rustavi 2)

Court to rule on Gulashvili's case in absentia

Tbilisi City Court will rule on the case of Malkhaz Gulashvili, founder of the Public Orthodox Movement, and his son Davit Gulashvili in absentia. Malkhaz Gulashvili's wife Nana Gagua says that a detective delivered the court documents to her at home on Wednesday.

The documents say that Malkhaz Gulashvili and his 17-year-old son are accused of illegal border crossing, which implies a 3-7 year prison sentence. Nana Gagua said the court would rule on the case in absentia. Family lawyer Shalva Khachapuridze will defend them.

Malkhaz Gulashvili and his son fled to Russia via the occupied Tskhinvali Region one month ago, after a scandal during a live programme broadcast by Kavkasia TV. (Rustavi 2)

Memorandum of Cooperation signed

A Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed between the National Library and Archive of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the National Archive of the Georgian Ministry of Justice, the National Library of the Parliament of Georgia and the Georgian National Centre of Manuscripts.

Interpressnews was told by the National Archive that the ceremony was held at the National Library Exhibition Hall in Parliament.

A delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran began a four-day official visit to Georgia on 8 June. It was led by Iranís Presidential Adviser on Cultural Affairs and Director of the National Library of Iran and Director of its Archive Aliakbar Ashar. Director of the Georgian National Archive Teona Iashvili stated after signing the memorandum that the document will promote cooperation between the relevant bodies, joint projects would be implemented and Georgians and Iranians would be introduced to documents about the history of their countries.

The guests will conduct a meeting at the National Archive with General Director Teona Iashvili and be introduced to its collection of Persian documents. This contains 1,237 documents from the XVI-XX centuries. (Interpressnews)