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The News in Brief

Wednesday, November 10
Ariel Cohen – US Policy in South Caucasus may fail

Ariel Cohen, the Heritage Foundation’s leading expert on Eurasia said that Baku, Tbilisi and even Yerevan believe that the United States’ political course in the South Caucasus is failing .

“U.S. efforts to normalise Armenian-Turkish relations in isolation from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have not yielded positive results,” Cohen said in an interview with The Caucasus Times.

Today, Moscow is doing everything to strengthen its regional leadership by all available means, he said. Cohen believes it is not difficult amid the Obama administration’s apparent weakening of interest in the South Caucasus. The Kremlin took over the main role of mediator in the territorial dispute between Baku and Yerevan, and is now trying to keep a delicate balance between its traditional ally, which is Armenia, and its prospective partner Azerbaijan, he said.

‘Unfortunately, U.S. policy in the region, which both parties have pursued over the last 20 years during the Clinton and Bush administrations, is in a deep crisis. Obama’s administration is too attentive to all the complaints of Moscow. Officials of Georgia say that they can’t receive elementary defensive weapon from Moscow. USA has important interests in the South Caucasus linked with Iran, energy, transit to Afghanistan, development of markets and democracy. Cohen considers that the interest must be protected. (Interpressnews)

Mikhail Saakashvili to attend NATO summit

“President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili will participate in the NATO summit, to be held in Lisbon on November 19,” stated the President’s spokeswoman, Manana Manjgaladze on November 9.

Manjgaladze stated that after the Lisbon Summit the president will visit Brussels to hold meetings with the EU senior officials. (Prime-News)

New problems for Akhalgori residents

Russian occupiers have reinforced control of the checkpoints along the boundary line in the occupied Akhalgori district, Shida Kartli, Georgia. Those who do not carry “form no.9” – a new document issued by the occupying regime are prohibited from travelling towards Tbilisi. Soon they will prohibit travelling from Georgian controlled territories towards Akhalgori without the aforementioned document.

From 2011, the occupiers plan to begin issuing so-called Ossetian passports and if anybody residing beyond the boundary line does not have the passport, they will be evicted from their houses and the region.

Georgian lawmakers have assessed this act as a violation of the rights of Georgian citizens. The committee of foreign relations of parliament has been instructed to inform international organisations and the ministry of foreign affairs of the matter. (Rustavi 2)

Russian border guards find Ammunition hideaway

Russian border guards together with the so-called South Ossetian border guards have found a secret store of ammunition in so-called South Ossetia reports the agency “Res”.

The store of six 82-mm mines and one shell was discovered on the road leading from the village Kvaisa of Java district to the village of Iri of Oni district, 1.5 km from the administrative border on the territory of the Tskhinvali district.

“Specialists of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of South Ossetia destroyed the ammunition on the spot,” said the Russian border guards. (Prime-News)

'Beating' suspect arrested

The Ministry of Interior Affairs has detained Vladimir Meladze, a suspect accused of beating ‘Maestro’ TV cameraman, Temur Doliashvili.

MIA reports that according to the investigation, on 2 November Vladimer Meladze was visiting his friend Giorgi Kartozia at a party where he was introduced to Temur Doliashvili. They had a fight. After a verbal and physical conformation between them, Vladimer Meladze waited for Temur Doliashvili at his house and beat him with a club.

Vladimir Meladze is detained under article 239 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. However, Temur Doliashvili’s father stated that representatives of law enforcement bodies participated in beating his son. (Interpressnews)

Jondi Baghaturia requests support for 12th graders

Opposition MP Jondi Baghaturia is in favour of the protest by form 12 students demanding the abolition of certification exams and asks the parliament to support schoolchildren.

Baghaturia stated at a plenary session of Parliament on November 9, the 12th form students will not manage to pass 8 certification exams and then to prepare for the entrance examinations.

According to Baghaturia the Ministry of Education and Science should consider the application. (Prime-News)