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The News in Brief

Thursday, August 21
Nino Burjanadze will return to politics

Ex-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Nino Burjanadze has stated her intention to return to national politics after the stabilization of the situation in Georgia.

“I aim to establish a new political party after the military action is brought under control and the situation has stabilized”, Burjanadze said to journalists.

After acting as chair of the Parliament for many years Burjanadze left politics before the parliamentary elections in May, having announced the establishment of a fund for developing democracy. Since then there have been ongoing rumours that she intended to establish her own party.

Burjanadze said that in the present situation personal plans were not important, but ensuring “Russia’s respect for the signature of its own President” was the task in hand. “Mr. Medvedev signed the ceasefire agreement which stated that his troops had to leave Georgia, but no such thing has been done. Russian troop actions on the territory of Georgia exceed all recognized boundaries”, Burjanadze noted.

The ex-Speaker refrained from assessing the actions of President Saakashvili, and noted that questions could be answered only after the situation stabilized and Russian troops were withdrawn. “Issues will certainly be considered after the hostilities end and all “I’s” will be dotted. We will talk about Russia’s role and many other things”, Burjanadze stressed.

“I offer my deep condolences to Georgians, Ossetians, to their families of all who have died. But Russia’s actions have no connection with the establishment of peace”, Burjanadze noted. (Black Sea Press)

Kaspi Railway Bridge being restored

The Metekhi-Grakali span of the railway bridge in Kaspi district is being restored.

Russian troops mined and blew up the railway bridge in Kaspi on August 16. “Georgian Railway” reports that workers from Azerbaijan and Armenia are assisting Georgians with the restoration of the bridge.

Reportedly, rail traffic between east and west Georgia will be restored in a week. (Prime-News)

Georgian and Turkish businessmen to assist up to 1,000 refugees

Georgian and Turkish businessmen, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, will assist up to 1,000 refugees.

The businessmen will assist refuges with 12.5 tonnes of various foods. Prime-News was also told at the Ministry of Education and Science that 400 refugee children would see a movie free of charge at “Rustaveli” movie theatre on Wednesday. (Prime-News)

Italy ready to send observers

Italy is ready to send five OSCE observers to Georgia, journalists were told by Foreign Minister of Italy Franco Frattini.

“The OSCE will send 20 new observers to Georgia and Italians will be among them. We have proposed five individuals. If they all are included in the commission, they will form a strong Italian presence”, Frattini said.

The minister noted that Italy had already delivered humanitarian aid worth EURO 1 million to Georgia and added that if needed the country would provide greater aid. (Black Sea Press)

Greece calls on conflicting sides to return to ‘status quo ante’

Greece calls on the two sides involved in the South Ossetia conflict to return to the status quo prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated after the emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

“Our position is clear. We must pass as soon as possible from today’s stage of ceasefire to a return to the ‘status quo ante’, that is, to the position which existed before”, She said in a statement disseminated by the Foreign Ministry of Greece.

“It is first necessary to begin a dialogue with the aim of achieving a final settlement as a result of talks. In connection with this the implementation of the six item ceasefire agreement between Georgia and Russia, and withdrawal of Russian troops, is of particular significance”, Bakoyannis noted. (Black Sea Press)