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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 30
PM Garibashvili meets Pankisi Gorge elders

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has met with members of the Council of Elders of the Pankisi Gorge, a valley in northeastern Georgia that borders Chechnya.

A separate meeting was also held yesterday with family members of the victims of the 2012 Lopota Incident - a special operation against an illegal armed group in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia.

The PM told the victims’ families that the investigation into the case was still ongoing. He also discussed the recently implemented and planned large-scale infrastructural programs with the Pankisi elders.

The Pankisi Gorge was a place for a major military engagement in 2003. The Gorge is also home to Tarkhan Batirashvili, also known as Abu Omar al-Shishani, a military leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The PM promised Pankisi residents the state would do its best to create better living conditions in the Gorge.

"We will implement a number of plans in the Gorge. We will tackle a number of problems and you will be more ensured that you are not alone, the Government is beside you,” Garibashvili addressed the elders.

The meeting between the PM and the Kakheti locals was held after Garibashvili opened a Community Centre in Duisi village in the Akhmeta Municipality in Kakheti.

The centre is a place where more than 200 most in-demand state services are available for local residents. There were 12 such centres , and four more are planned to open by the end of this year.

The PM said the centres aimed to develop Georgia’s rural areas and establish electronic governance in local self-governments. (

Georgian FM, Iranian parliamentarians discuss bilateral relations

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze received members of the Georgian-Iranian friendship group of the Iranian parliament, the Georgian foreign ministry told Trend.

The delegation is on a visit to Georgia at the invitation of the parliament. The traditional friendly and good neighborly relations between the two countries were stressed at the meeting.

The cooperation prospects in different areas, including economy, culture, education and international relations were discussed. (

"Georgia is a common homeland of Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetias"

The leader of the "United Democratic Movement" Nino Burjanadze said that the government has told the Abkhazians that Abkhazia is not their homeland.

"I had a little hope that this government would say something new, however, logic prompted me that it would be impossible, as they are so incompetent. Georgia is a common homeland of Georgians, Abkhazians and Ossetians. The issue of Georgia's territorial integrity may be solved through restoring the confidence between the Abkhazians and Ossetians. The Georgian society has not heard any serious proposal from the present government for 2 years, not counting the PM's recent offer of autonomy to the Abkhazians and Ossetians. The reason for such an offer is incompetence and lack of political will. At the same time, this government does not have the courage, too"- Burjanadze said. (

Catherine Ashton sends a letter to Georgia

High Representative of the EU, Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton has sent a letter to Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze in relation to expiration of her authority and thanked her, the Press and Information Department of the Georgian Foreign Ministry has informed InterPressNews.

“I would like to thank you for excellent cooperation.

By means of our joint involvement we consistently strengthened and enlarged bilateral relations between Georgia and the EU that was followed by signing the Association Agreement in June, 2014,’’ Catherine Ashton writes in her letter.

She remarks that the Association Agreement including Free Trade Agreement will provide Georgia and the EU with many benefits. “I believe Georgia will continue to implement the European agenda of ambitious reforms including the Association agenda elaborated by us and in the nearest future we will see the progress in terms of visa liberalization process, rule of law and independence of court,’’- the letter says.

Catherine Ashton confirms the EU’s support towards Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

In her turn, Maia Panjikidze sent a letter to Catherine Ashton. She thanked her for supporting Georgia’s integration with Europe and expressed hope that she will always be a devoted friend of Georgia.

Catherine Ashton will leave office on November 1. Former Foreign Minister of Italy Federica Mogherini will replace her. (IPN)

"Not many women go out after 21:00"

The BBC touches upon the issue of social freedom of women in South Caucasia. In order to find out more about the social lives of women in the region, the BBC calls on the readers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to share their views on how much freedom they have to go to parties and concerts, etc.

“Are you a woman who goes on a lot of nights out? What do you do on a night out? Or do you think it is a bad idea for women to go out a lot?”

According to the BBC “Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were once part of the Soviet Union but after its break up, these areas gained independence. They are now geographically the closest countries to Europe from the former Union.

These countries also enjoy greater social freedom with a vibrant night-life including music venues, bars and nightclubs. But not all women enjoy these freedoms. Locals report that not many women go out after 21:00.”

The BBC urges the readers to send pictures and videos on the issue before November 4th, the date when the article is going to be published. (Palitra media)