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The News in Brief

Friday, June 5
Georgian Defence Minister to meet American counterpart

Georgian Defence Minister Davit Sikharulidze met US Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday. Strengthening security within the framework of the Georgia-US Partnership Charter and the participation of the Georgian armed forces in international peacekeeping operations were discussed.

Davit Sikharulidze has already held a face-to-face meeting with Richard Lugar, the Deputy Chair of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. They talked about the current relations between the two countries and ways to intensify them.

“It is very important that support for Georgia`s territorial integrity and sovereignty and eventual NATO membership has been reiterated,” Davit Sikharulidze said. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia, US sign memorandum of mutual understanding

The Georgian and US Governments have signed a memorandum of mutual understanding in the trade sector. The document focuses on the intensification of cooperation and exchange of information about the export of Georgian wines from Georgia to the United States. The sides believe the product will be better protected from falsification thanks to this document, which also stipulates bilateral control of the market.

“We have signed a memorandum of the mutual understanding, which will take trade relations between Georgia and the United States to a new level, particularly in wine export. We hope that in the near future the export of Georgian wines will increase and this memorandum will facilitate an exchange of information online,” Minister of Agriculture of Georgia Bakur Kvezereli has said. (Rustavi 2)

25 Georgian experts to work in Constitutional Commission

Avtandil Demetrashvili will have 25 experts in the Constitutional Commission. The head of the 70-member Commission has proposed the candidates and an agreement on this was reached at the Ambassador Hotel in Tbilisi yesterday. Consultations on this were held with Chair of Parliament Davit Bakradze.

Members of political parties and NGOs will take the other 45 places in the Commission. All political parties will be represented by only one person. Representatives of the Abkhazia, Adjara and Tskhinvali regions will also be included in the Commission.

Members of the Movement for Fair Georgia have demand that the Commission finish working by August 31. Agreement has not been achieved on this issue, although it had been previously reported that December 31 was the deadline.

Avtandil Demetrashvili said he would raise the issue of a two-chamber Parliament during the Commission sessions because such a format would increase Parliament`s role, prevent the hasty adopting of decisions and make Parliament stronger in relation to other branches of government. If the President dismissed Parliament, the upper chamber would continue working. (Rustavi 2)

Officers detain murder suspect

As the Press Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reports, “Officers of the Adjara Regional Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have detained Merab Chichua (born 1970), who on May 29 of the current year inflicted injuries on Mikheil Datunaishvili (born 1951) and Gocha Datunaishvili (born 1973). Gocha Datunaishvili died at the scene of the crime and Mikheil Datunaishvili was transferred to the hospital with severe injuries. The detainee has already pleaded guilty.

“An investigation is in progress under article 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. It is being conducted by employees of Adjara Regional Main Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.” (Interpressnews)

Medvedev invites separatist leaders to Petersburg forum

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited the separatist leaders of Georgia`s two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to St. Petersburg, Russia’s northern capital, which is hosting the 13th economic forum, due to open today.

Despite the global financial crisis, the Russians have organised a very high level and costly event. The Governor of Petersburg says this forum will equal the Davos International Forum in significance, this being why the organisers put global economic issues on its agenda. (Rustavi 2)

Condition of wounded teenager still difficult

Only one teenager of the three wounded on June 3 remains in hospital. Chest surgery was performed on him on Wednesday night. Doctors said his condition was still difficult. A knife was stuck in his spine and doctors could take it out only through surgery.

The other two teenagers were discharged from hospital after having their wounds treated yesterday. The teenagers got into a fight with a stranger who was trying to seize a mobile phone from them in the April 9 garden in Tbilisi on June 3. (Rustavi 2)