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The News in Brief

Friday, March 27
First University clinic opens in Tbilisi

The Georgian Government has teamed up with Tbilisi Medical University to open the first University clinic equipped with modern technology.

The new clinic is located in Sanzona district of Tbilisi on the base of XVIII clinic. The original clinic was built during the Soviet era however over time it was destroyed and became useless.

Today, the clinic has 185 beds and is ready to provide high-level service to patients including diagnostic radiology.

A total of 25 million GEL was spent on renovating clinic; out of which 5 million GEL was allocated by Georgia’s Ministry of Education.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and Government members visited the newly opened clinic.

"Georgia has not had such clinic [before]. You know that the Medical University was seized from several clinics in 2006, which was a big commitment of the previous government. This is a very important project as opening this University clinic will enable students to have theoretical as well as practical knowledge,” Garibashvili said.

It is believed 6,000 Georgian and 2,000 foreign students will be able to have the opportunity to practice their skills in the University Clinic.

In addition, 600 people will be employed in new facility.

Garibashvili said the Government’s goal was to have more qualified medical personnel in Georgia. (

Adjara government finds solution to overcrowding in mosque

The local government in Batumi, Georgia, is buying two buildings for local Muslims. One will be used for a madrasa, the other will be an office. This will free up space inside the city’s only mosque, which has been overcrowded for decades.

There is only one mosque in Batumi, and it is unable to accommodate all the Muslims who come there to pray. Many therefore have to pray outside in the street every Friday.

Muslims in Batumi have been asking to solve this issue for about three decades. They wanted permission to build a second mosque in the city, but every government until now has failed to let them do this.

Recently, the local government suggested expanding Orta Jame Mosque, claiming that it would solve this issue. This is now what is going to happen.

Apart from the conflict in Batumi there was another conflict in Kobuleti related to a boarding school for kids, when the local population didn’t like the idea of having Muslim educational facility in their neighborhood.

The government decided to solve both issues together. The local government in Adjara purchased a building to locate the Madrasa in. They will also purchase a building to locate the Muslim Department, which is now located at Orta Jame. This will free up more space in the mosque.

The State Agency on Religious Affairs believes this will solve the issue of the Batumi mosque and the worshipers will fit inside the mosque after the residence has been moved to a different location. The Muslim Department will probably move out of Orta Jame by the end of the month.

Beglar Kamashidze, Mufti of Georgia, told DF Watch that there is a working process to solve the issue of Muslims in Batumi.

“If it still won’t be enough, the state supports us and we will find other ways,” he says adding that this issue should have been solved earlier and if there still is need for a new mosque, it will be constructed.

So far, no-one knows if this new arrangement will free enough space to fit all the people who want to pray, but Muslims in Batumi are waiting to see the real results. (DF watch)

Georgia’s President plans to meet with the Pope

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has met with the Vatican’s nuncio to Georgia Marek Solchinsky.

At the meeting the sides discussed details of the President’s planned visit to Vatican City.

According to the presidential administration, Margvelashvili will visit the Vatican in April and will meet with Pope Francis. (IPN)

The Prime Minister is unaware of what “courage’’ means - Irakli Alasania

The Prime Minister is not aware of what “courage” or “speculation” means, - Free Democrats’ leader Irakli Alasania said in response to the Prime Minister's statement.

According to Alasania, hampering the transfer of defense equipment causes national harm.

“I would like to explain one more thing to the PM: hampering the transfer of defense equipment causes national harm.”

“The issue is of course, of national importance. I will not talk about technical details, but it is a fact that the decision-making process was hampered. He will be held accountable for that in the future,”- Alasania said.

At a press conference on March 25, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili called former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania’s statements "immoral" and added that courageous men should not be busy with speculating about classified cases.

A couple of days ago Irakli Alasania said that while his visit in France as a Minister of Defense current Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze phoned him and said not to sign an agreement on air security. Alasania stressed that Janelidze was not the initiator of the call. (IPN)