The Messenger Online

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News in brief

Tuesday, December 18

One killed in South Ossetia car bomb attack

An apparent car bomb attack killed one man and left two others seriously injured in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

The de facto secessionist government of Tskhinvali labeled the blast a terrorist act, while Tbilisi officials suggested the violence arose out of a dispute between local organized crime groups.

One of the injured men, Erik Dudayev, is wanted by Georgian police. He is now reportedly recuperating in a Tskhinvali hospital. (Messenger Staff)

Rotation of Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazian conflict zone begins

Another rotation of Russian peacekeeping forces begun in the Abkhazian conflict zone on December 17, and is due to be completed by December 23. Over 500 Russian soldiers are due to arrive in Ochamchire. Russian military officials have stated the deployment is a routine rotation and that the new forces will arrive unarmed.

The Georgian government says the rotation is being undertaken without its consent.

The last rotation of Russian military personnel conflict zone was completed on December 10. (Prime News)

ENPI action plan signed

A financial agreement in the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) 2007 action plan was signed by State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Giorgi Baramidze at the State Chancellery on December 17.

The agreement will oversee EUR 24 million of financial assistance in three parts: budgetary assistance of EUR 16 million, the Twinning program will receive EUR 4 million, and a further EUR 4 million will go to conflict settlement processes.

The Twinning program was launched in 1998 to assist EU candidate countries to strengthen their administrative and judicial capacity to implement European Community legislation as future members of the EU. (Black Sea Press)

PACE representative to inform CoE committee about situation in Georgia

A parliamentary delegation left for Strasbourg to participate in a session of the Council of Europe (CoE) monitoring committee due to be held December 18.

Matyas Eorsi, a rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) monitoring committee who recently paid an official visit to Tbilisi to observe the media situation, will make a presentation at the session. (Prime News)

Patarkatsishvili’s campaign team accuse government of anti-Semitism

Badri Patarkatsishvili’s campaign team accused the government of anti-Semitism at a December 17 press conference.

Valeri Gelbakhiani, the head of the prominent businessman’s presidential campaign, said special forces troops verbally insulted Patarkatsishvili in absentia, referring to his Jewish ethnicity during the violent dispersal of anti-government protestors on November 7.

“We have documentary shots of dispersal of the rally of the opposition at the beginning of November during which Georgian special forces insulted Patarkatsishvili…[with] such curses as ‘your Jewish mother,’” Gelbakhiani stated.

Gelbakhiani accused the authorities of purposefully instructing the special forces troops to insult Patarkatsishvili’s ethnicity. Gelbakhiani makes the point that he does not see Patarkatsishvili’s Jewish heritage as anything negative. “On the contrary,” he said, “I think this is very attractive.” (Prime News)