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The News in Brief

Friday, November 29
NATO-Georgia Commission evaluates implementation of Georgian democratic reforms

The NATO-Georgia Commission has given a very positive evaluation of the implementation of democratic reforms by Georgia in 2013 within the framework of the fifth cycle of the Annual National Program.

A meeting was held in Brussels where the Georgian government was represented by the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alexi Petriashvili, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaliani.

Implementation of the 2013 Annual National Program and Russian-Georgian relations were discussed at the meeting.

According to the Foreign Ministry of Georgia, NATO praised the implementation of democratic reforms by Georgia in 2013 within the framework of the fifth cycle of the Annual National Program and noted that Georgia made qualitative progress from the point of view of implementation of the Annual National Program, which brings Georgia closer to alliance membership.

NATO stressed that Georgia held a free, fair and democratic presidential election in 2013.

NATO also stressed that it supports the Georgian government's pragmatic approach and constructive steps to normalize relations with Russia.

NATO permanent representatives and the Secretary General reiterated the alliance's support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. It was noted that NATO is committed to the decision made at the Bucharest Summit that Georgia will eventually become a NATO member. (IPN)

Georgian parliament adopts statement regarding Eastern Partnership Summit

The Georgian parliament has adopted a statement regarding the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. The Parliament voted in favor of the draft statement on European integration, prepared by the parliamentary majority, with 66 votes. No MP's voted against the statement.

The document consists of six paragraphs and mostly concerns the Vilnius Summit and the Association Agreement.

According to the declaration, the Parliament of Georgia expresses its readiness to take all necessary measures for signing the Association Agreement between the European Union and Georgia in 2014.

Also, according to the declaration, active cooperation will continue in Eastern Partnership bilateral and multilateral formats as well as in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly's work.

The statement expressed hope that in the process of European integration the Eastern Partnership countries will have complete freedom of choice. The declaration calls for the European Union to extend and strengthen supportive tools for the Eastern Partnership countries in order to help them become more democratic. (IPN)

Minister of Internal Affairs meets with Ambassador of Italy

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Aleksandre Tchikaidze, held an introductory meeting with the Ambassador of Italy Federica Favi.

Ambassador Favi congratulated Chikaidze on his appointment as the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia and stressed Italy's successful cooperation with the ministry. The parties discussed Georgia’s European aspirations, already existing bilateral cooperation and future plans. The minister mentioned that the installed barriers along the occupation line have worsened local residents' living standards on both sides of the administrative border between Georgia and South Ossetia.

Both parties expressed hope to further strengthen cooperation between Italian and Georgian law-enforcement agencies. (IPN)

Georgia creates online network for the diaspora

A global online network for the Georgian diaspora has been created. This network will serve the needs of compatriots living abroad, Georgian State Minister for Diaspora Affairs Konstantin Surguladze said.

"This is an extremely interesting network. It will consist mostly of social networks, but at the same time it will be a government product from which users will be able to receive concrete benefits.

"We intend to provide our compatriots abroad with quick and informative news reports from Georgia. We also want to create an online television channel for our diasporas that will show Georgian TV programs of interest. We want them to have access to Georgian products. We want documents to be more accessible. For instance, the Justice Ministry will make documents available online. However, some 95 percent of the population doesn't know about it yet. Not only will they be able to access documents but they will be able to have their questions answered." Surguladze said.

According to Surguladze, the diaspora network will begin in early 2014. (Trend)

One individual released from South Ossetian detention

A Georgian man has been released from the police in South Ossetia after being detained two days ago for trespassing.

Earlier this week, Malkhaz Vanishvili, 24, from the village of Khurvaleti near the de facto border, was detained together with Gocha Makishvili.

The latter still remains in detention in Tskhinvali, the administrative center of the breakaway region.

The South Ossetian authorities are asking 2000 rubles ($60) for Makishvili’s release. His family says he has diabetes and needs intensive medical care. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)