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The News in Brief

Friday, May 10
Bidzina Ivanishvili – We must do our best to maintain veterans' dignity

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania and Chairperson of Parliament Davit Usupashvili laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Vake Park on the 68th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe on May 9th. PM congratulated surviving veterans and wished them health and long life.

Paying homage to their memory he said Georgia must do everything to maintain the dignity of its veterans. "I want to congratulate you on this day and especially those who are most of all waiting for this day. The victory over fascism was the biggest event in world history and Georgia had an immense role in it. We also had the biggest proportional loss of life: over 300,000 of our compatriots died. They fought until victory. Many heroes returned, though we also had heroes who never returned and are unknown." Ivanishvili said. (IPN)

Legendary actor dies at 81

One of the most popular actors in Georgian cinema Otar Meghvinetukhutsesi has died at the age of 81 on May 9th after a long illness. The winner of numerous prestigious awards played about 20 roles in various Georgian movies and more on the stages of the Marjanishvili and Rustaveli theatres. By playing the role of Data Tutashkhia, Meghvinetukhutesi was awarded with a state prize and gained the title of legendary actor. (Rustavi 2)

FBI Director visits Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili met with FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday in Tbilisi. As the Georgian Prime Minister's Office announced, Mueller and Ivanishvili discussed issues of strategic partnership between Georgia and the United States, and expressed the hope of deepening bilateral relations. According to Ivanishvili, the Georgian government will do its best to increase U.S. interest in Georgia. He said the strategic partnership with the United States is a "great opportunity" for the country. (Trend)

National Bank of Georgia lowers economic growth forecast

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has lowered the country's economic growth forecast. As President of NBG Giorgi Kadagidze told journalists on Thursday, the reason for this is the slowdown in the economic activity rate.

"The Statistics Department's data in general suggest that we won't achieve six-percent economic growth by the end of the year. The reasons for this are a slowdown in the inflow of foreign direct investment, as well as internal factors. I mean passivity of business, which has not come out of standby mode to some extent and remains in uncertainty." Kadagidze said adding that NBG is cooperating with the government by sending all relevant information.

"We hope that from the second half of the year, the negative tendencies will change." Kadagidze said.

In the first quarter of 2013, economic growth in Georgia was 1.7 percent. In the same period last year, the figure was 6.7 percent. (Trend)

PM: Georgia, Azerbaijan connected by great cultural ties rooted in history

The renovated house-museum of Azeri writer Mirza Fatali Akhundov has been opened in the old part of Tbilisi. Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, Minister of Culture Guram Odisharia, his Azeri counterpart Abulfaz Garayev, SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev and Azeri Ambassador to Georgia Azer Huseyn attended the opening ceremony. The building was renovated with SOCAR's assistance. Ivanishvili said that Georgia and Azerbaijan have great cultural ties rooted in history.

"Mirza Fatali Akhundov wrote his world-famous plays in Tbilisi and they were staged here." he said. "Tbilisi was the center of the Caucasus in that period. The rapid growth of cultural life was observed here. Azerbaijan was actively involved in it."

Odisharia said that Akhundov moved to Tbilisi when he was 21 and spent his adult life here. Before visiting the house-museum, the representatives of the Azerbaijani and Georgian Culture Ministries honored the memory of Mirza Fatali Akhundov in the Tbilisi Botanical Garden, where he is buried. (Trend)

The bodies of four individuals killed in the Lapankuri operation to be exhumed

Four other corpses of those killed during the Lapankuri anti-terror operation last summer will be exhumed for an autopsy as the Prosecutor’s Office has launched a re-investigation of the operation. Three bodies of Chechens killed in the same operation were exhumed yesterday and transferred to Tbilisi for further examination by criminal forensics experts. Law enforcement say the previous investigation lacked a conclusion as to what caused the deaths of those shot dead in the operation. An independent expert will be also involved in the process. The families of those killed in the operation say the initial investigation was insufficient.

Seven Chechens were killed in the Lapankuri operation last year. Three of them were residents of the Pankisi Gorge, an area of Georgia predominantly inhabited by ethnic Chechens. (Rustavi 2)

Interior Minister holds meetings in Israel

The Minister of Internal Affairs is continuing his visit to Israel. Irakli Gharibashvili has already held meetings with the Israeli Minister of Border Guards and Communications. A document on mutual understanding between the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and the Israeli Internal Frontal Protection Ministry has been signed. Gharibashvili met with the interim foreign minister of Israel as well. Gharibashvili visited a border police base and even attended a training session. Irakli Gharibashvili will also meet with the Israeli Security Minister and other officials. (Rustavi 2)

Unstable and rainy weather to last in Georgia for about 10 days

Unstable and rainy weather will last in Georgia for approximately 10 days, the Environmental Monitoring and Forecast Center told InterpressNews. The temperature in western Georgia will be 27 degrees Celsius on May 10th. The forecast for eastern Georgia is around 32 degrees Celsius for May 10-11th. (InterpressNews)