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The News in Brief

Friday, October 11
Assessment mission of EU experts arrives in Georgia

Georgia is participating in several events in preparation for the Vilnius Summit in November.

Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani stressed the importance of the EU mission to Georgia scheduled for October 10-11th.

"The relaxation of visa requirements is among the topics that will be discussed. The mission will assess progress in Georgia in this sphere." Zalkaliani said. (Trend)

Georgian FM, Austrian Chancellor discuss relaxing visa system

Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze met with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel during a visit to Vienna, the Georgian Foreign Ministry told Trend. According to the chancellor, Panjikidze spoke about the ongoing reforms in Georgia.

"She mentioned Georgia's preparation for the Vilnius Summit where the Association Agreement will be initialed and signed between Georgia and the EU." Schuessel said.

The importance of a free trade agreement and the prospect of visa relaxation for Georgia and its citizens were discussed during the meeting. (Trend)

Georgian FM pays official visit to Slovakia

Georgia's Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze paid an official visit to Slovakia on October 10th. Panjikidze met with her Slovakian counterpart Miroslav Laichak. She also had a meeting with the Deputy Chairman of Slovakia's National Council and members of the group Friends of Georgia in the Slovakian parliament.

Panjikidze spoke at Slovak Atlantic Commission and met with representatives from the local media. (Trend)

MP Beselia visits family of late prisoner in Senaki

The Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights will be involved in the investigation into the death of 16 year-old prisoner Goga Dzvelaia. Dzvelaia was found hanging from a rope at Kutaisi Prison 24 hours after being transferred there. The official cause of death is suicide. However, the family does not accept this version and demands an unbiased investigation.

The chairperson of the committee Eka Beselia visited the family of the late convict. Beselia said she will go to Kutaisi prison and view the cell in which Dzvelaia was found. The Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistanc Sozar Subari will visit Senaki as well. (Rustavi 2)

Estonian President thinks obstacles to initial EU association agreement unacceptable

President of Estonia Toomas Ilves thinks it is important that the Association and Free Trade Agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia be signed at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Lithuania in November, the web page of the President of Georgia reports.

"Estonia and Poland share this position regarding the conclusion of the agreements with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia at the summit meeting in Vilnius." President Ilves said.

He added that the European Union's Eastern Partners must have the right to decide their future and which associations they wish to join. "Economic blackmail and threats as well as political pressure to join the Eurasian Customs Union, which these countries are currently experiencing, are unjustifiable. These developments must be carefully monitored during the next few months." the Estonian president said, stressing the European Union's collective responsibility.

"At the same time, our association also affects our own countries, which are facing economic sanctions only because they support the European Union's Partnership Policy with conviction. Thus, Lithuania – who currently holds the EU Presidency – requires all of our support." said President Ilves. (InterPressNews)

Usupashvili hopes parliament will move to Tbilisi in February

Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili hopes Parliament will move from Kutaisi back to Tbilisi in February. He noted that having Parliament in Kutaisi was an obstacle from many points of view. (InterPressNews)

Khabadze says expansion/construction of a mosque in Batumi has already been decided

The Chairman of Adjara’s government Archil Khabadze said expansion or construction of a mosque in Batumi has been decided in advance.

“The expansion or construction of a mosque has already been decided. We have to find space for it. We may expand the existing mosque. If the congregation does not have enough money, then the prime minister will fund it.” Khabadze said after meeting with the governors of the city of Rize.

A few days ago Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili met with representatives of the Muslim community. One of the topics of the meeting was the construction of a new mosque. (InterPressNews)

Nini Shermadini sings at New York Fashion Week

Georgian singer Nini Shermadini performed “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin at the opening of Brazilian fashion designer Marcia Ganem’s show on September 7th in the Grand Ballroom of New York during Couture Fashion Week. Shermadini was among artists from the United States, Israel, Greece, Latvia, New Zealand and Spain who performed at the event. (Georgian News)

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits Georgia’s north east

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit Georgia’s northeast yesterday morning. The earthquake struck the Kvareli municipality in the Kakheti region at 08:10 AM. A magnitude 3 tremor was recorded in the villages of Noembriani and Ijevani. The earthquake caused no major damage in the region. Reportedly the earthquake was felt in Armenia too. (Rustavi 2)