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The News in Brief

Tuesday, July 16
Georgian FM to hold several meetings in U.S

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili and MPs will visit the US on Tuesday. While speaking at a press-conference on Monday, Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani, stressed that Pandzhikidze will take part in several high level meetings and deliver speechs to various NGOs and research centers. According to Zalkaliani, the Georgian delegation will provide the US side with comprehensive information on the current political processes in the country and Georgia's contribution to the general safety.

Maia Pandzhikidze will also participate in several events at the Atlantic Council, the US Institute of Peace and other organizations.

Georgian-Cypriot political consultations held in Batumi

Political consultations were held between the Georgian and Cypriot Foreign Ministries in Batumi on Monday. A Cypriot delegation at the first round of talks was headed by Permanent Secretary of the Cypriot Foreign Ministry Andreas Mavroyiannis. A Georgian delegation was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani. The sides discussed bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. Particular attention was paid to the relations with the EU and prospects for their development. The importance of intensifying and developing the relations between the two countries in different spheres was highlighted. They also discussed the current regional and international issues. The Georgian side provided the Cypriot delegation with comprehensive information about the situation in the occupied territories, the current political processes and ongoing reforms in the country. The sides stressed the importance of exchanging senior officials' visits and continuing the political consultations.

Occupants resume installation of fences

Russian occupants have resumed the process of installing new concrete and metal fences along the administrative boundary line of the occupied Tskhinvali region. Two crews of the soldiers are working on two different places - they are installing iron poles, on which the wire entanglements will be arranged afterwards.

Similar work was resumed after a few weeks of pause last week; it was suspended for the week-end, but today the Russian soldiers were noticed again working on the same places.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has commented on the process that contradicts international agreements at the briefing today. Davit Zalkaniani said the process is under the observation of the Georgian side and the international organizations and partners are constantly informed about the process along the administrative boundary line.
(Rustavi 2)

Paata Burchuladze does not see necessity to engage in Georgian politics

Famous opera singer Paata Burchuladze cannot see any reason to get involved in Georgian politics at this stage. Burchuladze released a statement. “I want to confirm that for years I had been offered to go into politics, but I always refused and I have never regretted it. Recently these proposals became frequent. Various NGOs and political parties addressed me with regard to the above-mentioned issues. I want to sincerely thank all Georgian citizens who were personally calling and sending letters to me. I want to thank Jondi Baghaturia and Kakha Kukava for their confidence in me. I think it is not necessary that I go into politics at this stage and that I can bring much more profit to our people and our country with my public activities that I am doing now. If I ever think that my country needs me in another sphere, I will necessarily take such a step,” Burchuladze said.

Bank of Georgia to finance construction of seven hydroelectric power stations

The Georgian Energy Development Fund and "Bank of Georgia" signed a memorandum of cooperation. According to the memorandum, the fund will construct seven hydroelectric power stations in different regions of Georgia.

According to the memorandum, the hydroelectric power stations' total capacity will reach 180 megawatts, while the total investment cost of the project is $ 300 million.

The memorandum was signed by Georgian Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze and Bank of Georgia director general Irakli Gilauri.

According to the document, during the first stage, a feasibility study will be prepared with the Bank of Georgia as the co-financier. This includes a detailed hydrological and geological evaluation of the impact of the stations on the environment, as well as their economic and social efficiency. According to the document, the bank's share in financing the projects will hit 85%, while the Georgian Energy Development Fund – 15%.

According to Georgian Energy Minister, such cooperation is essential for Georgia to become self-sufficient in energy and export electricity in the near future.

Kaladze said that the project will create jobs.

MPs, NGOs discuss parliamentary ethics code for MPs

Representatives of the parliamentary majority and minority, NGOs and foreign MPs are discussing the elaboration of a professional and efficient parliamentary ethics code for MPs.

Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili opened a meeting organized by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the Holiday Inn hotel. Transparency International conducted a survey on the topic of parliamentary ethics last year. The survey showed a necessity for the activation of an efficient ethics code in the parliament. “Unfortunately, today we can see in the Parliament that MPs are unethically treating each other. In addition, we can hear xenophobic statements there. The ethics code should regulate all these problems,” Eka Gigauri, a representative of Transparence International said.

Katie Melua sings at Buckingham Palace for Queen’s Coronation anniversary

A festival to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation has been held outside Buckingham Palace, featuring more than 200 suppliers to the queen and a star-studded concert later. Attendees were by invite only and included palace chimney sweeps, cake-makers and brewers. The evening gig included performances from the English National Ballet, as well as singing stars such as Russell Watson, Beverley Knight, and Katherine Jenkins as the Queen was joined in the royal box by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Metro website informs.

Georgian singer Katie Melua performed "I Will Be There" on The Queen's Coronation Festival Gala, a composition written and conducted by Mike Batt.
(Georgian News)