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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 13
Georgia tightens visa policy

The Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze does not rule out a reconsideration of the liberal visa policies regarding a number of countries.

As she said at a press conference on Tuesday, “there is not a migration policy in Georgia, which leads to numerous misunderstandings with other countries and individuals”.

According to Panjikidze, a commission has been established under the leadership of the Minister for Justice which will develop legislation on migration.

She noted that this would happen by taking into account the Action Plan on Visa Liberalization with the EU.

"Making changes to the liberal visa policy is not ruled out. Georgia has a visa-free system for 121 countries, 114 of which are unilateral. This allows the citizens of those countries to stay in Georgia without a visa for 160 days," she said.

The minister emphasised that there is no reciprocal agreement between most of these countries, which is most unusual.

"No self-respecting country should do this, so it is possible that this approach will change in relation to many countries," she said. "Moreover, neither tourists nor investment comes from most of these countries. Aside from that, it is imperative that we strengthen the security of our country in these uncertain times”. (Trend)

Georgian MIA: Video threats on the internet have no connection with the Taliban

The, now infamous video threats against the president of Georgia and the Georgian military in Afghanistan, have no link to the Taliban, Minister of Internal Affairs, Irakli Garibashvili told reporters after a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Tuesday.

According to him, it is now safe to say that the video was uploaded within the territory of Georgia.

"We have already found the IP-address, and it has been identified. Now, we are attempting to identify a specific person, and soon he will be found," the minister said.

Garibashvili stressed that the investigation is being conducted jointly with the FBI.

The video, which appeared on the internet on June 6th, threatens the military and the president of Georgia.

The issues raised by the video clips were on the agenda of a meeting of the NSC. (Trend)

Georgian President: Format of the NSC is very useful to enable the collaboration of different political forces

The ministers for defense, foreign and internal affairs and the command of the joint staff of the Georgian Armed Forces all attended the National Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

Chairman of the meeting, President Mikhail Saakashvili, said the format of the NSC is very useful to enable the collaboration of different political forces.

"Behind closed doors, we can seriously discuss many issues, since this format allows us to rise above ourselves and enables us to do many things for our country. We all work for the security of our country," he said .

Saakashvili called on all parties to take part in discussions and welcomed any and all approaches.

"We, were for once part of the National Security Council, and all the participants of the meeting were convinced that we could and would work efficiently," he said.

It should be noted that after the meeting, Minister for Internal Affairs, Irakli Garibashvili called the NSC a "useless" body that "cannot make decisions."

Meanwhile, he said that he respects the institutions, including the presidency, and therefore participates in the meeting of the National Security Council. (Trend)

Georgia will not reduce its military presence in Afghanistan

The Minister for Defence, Irakli Alasania said after the Security Council , that Georgia will not reduce its military presence in Afghanistan.

"Georgia has an obligation to participate in the international mission until the end of 2014. We will complete this mission in 2014. After that we will take part in a new mission, which will not be a combat mission. This will be a training mission for Afghan security forces,” said the defence minister. (Front News)

Margvelashvili says nobody can compete with him

Minister for Education and Science and Vice Prime Minister, Girogi Margvelashvili said "I am convinced that nobody will be able to compete with me in the upcoming presidential elections”. He was speaking to a reporter from the newspaper, Kvela Siakhle.

According to the minister, speaking about his political inexperience is groundless because he has been an advisor of almost all the country’s political leaders since 1995.

"If they recognized me in politics as a person who could give advice, though did not have political ambitions, why do they now state that I do not have political experience? Who are my competitors? Are they those people who have achieved success in the political arena? I do not think so. What political experience do these people have? – I do not know,” Girogi Margvelashvili said stressing Georgian Dream has a new political ideology, “where everything is clear, where is no intrigue, where we share our plans with people, where we talk clearly to the people about the difficulties and the successes we have.”

“Is anyone with such political experience competing with me today? I think not. I do not think that lies are permitted in politics, therefore, I think that nobody can compete with me,” he said. (Front News)

Georgian PM meets with Frankfurt Book Fair Heads

Prime Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili met with the President of Frankfurt Book Fair Juergen Books and Vice President, Tobias Voss at the minister’s residence. The parties discussed the issues of promotion and popularization of books and about Georgian culture. The conversation also touched on the issue of assigning Georgia the status of a guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The guests are in Tbilisi at the invitation of the ministry for culture (Trend)