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The News in Brief

Wednesday, October 8
Georgia forges closer ties with Armenia

Economic, trade and cultural relations between Georgia and Armenia are being discussed by country representatives during a visit of Armenian officials to Tbilisi.

An Armenian delegation led by chairman of the National Assembly Galust Sahakyan met Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili and Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II in the past two days.

Sahakyan said even though Armenia had chosen to join the Eurasian Union while Georgia had signed the Association Agreement with the European Union, the two neighbouring countries still could deepen their trade relations.

"This will give even more opportunities to the two countries as Georgia and Armenia trade relations will become a bridge between the two trade zones,” an Armenian official said.

Georgian and Armenian authorities stressed the importance of the two countries’ Parliaments cooperating in a closer manner.

At the meeting with Patriarch Ilia II, the parties talked about Georgia-Armenia cultural relations. Sahakyan asked the Georgian Patriarch to take care of the Armenian cultural heritage on Georgian territory and named several monuments and raised the issue of their restoration and maintenance. (

Alasania Hopes to Get More Funding for MoD in 2015

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said he is “optimistic” that MoD will see funding increase next year as discussions on initial draft of 2015 state budget are still ongoing.

“I had a substantive discussion not only with the Finance Ministry, but with the entire cabinet as well; I had several meetings with the Prime Minister specifically on this issue,” Alasania said on October 6 while speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi after meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart Juozas Olekas.

“I have a reason to be optimistic that increase of defense funding will be possible,” Alasania said, but added that it now too early to specify how much of funding might be added to MoD.

Initial draft of 2015 state budget, submitted to the Parliament last week, allocates GEL 625 million for MoD, less than sought by the Ministry of Defense. During confirmation hearings of reshuffled cabinet in late July, Alasania told lawmakers that he would seek 11% increase in MoD’s budget next year. The initial draft is subject to revisions before it is put on vote in Parliament in late December.

Funding for MoD in 2014 was initially set at GEL 660 million, but it was downsized to GEL 615.9 million after several scientific research institutes and Delta military industrial complex were transferred from MoD’s subordination to the Ministry of Economy. In 2013 MoD’s funding was set at GEL 660 million, but GEL 610.4 million was actually allocated; figure stood at GL 730.6 million in 2012 and at GEL 711 million in 2011.

“Of course we should taken into consideration that all the sectors are important and there is no area on which we can say that it is of less priority, but defense and security is important because stability is needed for the other sectors to develop. So we have understanding from the Finance Ministry and the rest of the cabinet and I suppose that the MoD will have upward trend [in funding] at the time when this ongoing [budget planning] process is over,” Defense Minister Alasania said. (

Ossetian side does not intend to discuss refugee issue at Geneva talks

The Ossetian side is not going to discuss issue of refugees at Geneva talks.

According to the statement released by so-called South Ossetia’s de-facto President’s Representative Murat Jioev’s office, “the Ossetian delegation will not discuss this issue”.

“The Georgian side presents a resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, every year at the UN General Assembly. South Ossetia and Abkhazia do not participate in these sessions; accordingly, their position is not taken into account. While this practice is underway, the Ossetian side will not discuss issue of refugees at Geneva talks”, the statement says.

The 29th round of Geneva negotiations will be held on October 7-8. (Frontnews)

Zviad Jankarashvili elected executive secretary of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia

Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party has decided to appoint Zviad Jankarashvili, former chief of the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, as the party’s executive secretary.

According to the party’s secretary general, vice premier Kakha Kaladze, political board unanimously approved Jankarashvili’s candidacy.

"Construction of a party is very important. We’ve been in the electoral process since 2012. It is important to found a party on social-democratic ideology. We need a person who will work day and night", Kakha Kaladze told reporters.

He added that neither he nor the party chairman have enough time for party activities. (IPN)