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The News in Brief

Monday, June 20
Georgian Speaker gives interview to Al Jazeera

Chairman of Georgia`s Parliament Davit Bakradze talked about Georgia-Russia relations, occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia`s plans and the reforms carried out in the country to Al Jazeera`s David Frost.

Bakradze told the journalist, that although Russia continues to destabilize the situation in Georgia, and still has 20% of its territories occupied, the country is still ready to enter dialogue with its neighbour.

The speaker hoped historical logic would work in Georgia and that Russia will leave the country like it has done in Eastern European and Baltic countries.

In the interview, Bakradze also highlighted Georgia`s strategy on the occupied regions and the reforms carried out in the country.
(Rustavi 2)

Ilia the Second – Garegin II is Young and Probably Needs More Experience

The Georgian church is open to everyone, but it will not allow the Georgian nation and Georgia to be oppressed, Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second said at the Sunday service.

The Catholicos Patriarch spoke about the visit of Armenia’s Catholicos Patriarch Garegin II.

“Garegin II is a young man and he probably needs more experience. He is clever, but wants to do everything immediately, what will not happen. I told him that I have great experience, and calmness is best of all”, Ilia the Second said.

The Patriarch of Georgia said that relations between the two churches of the countries were discussed. “Armenians want to open more temples in Georgia. We suggested that if Armenian temples open in Georgia, Georgian churches must open in Armenia. We agreed to have better cooperation in future. I want to say that the Georgian church is open to everyone, but the Georgian church will not allow the Georgian nation and country to be oppressed”, Ilia the Second said.

He says that the Georgian church will conduct dialogue with all nations but “we must take care of our religion, culture and spirituality”.

Congressman says sales of `Mistral` Russian threat to U.S. interests

Sale of two Russian helicopters “Mistral” threatens U.S. interests and the regional allies of Washington, said the head of the International Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

“Many of our allies in the region, such as Georgia and the Baltic countries, have experienced cyber attacks, severe economic pressure and even invasion by Russia. It is of extreme concern that France, our ally in NATO, has decided to ignore the obvious danger caused by the sale of warships. Meanwhile Moscow demonstrates more and more hostility to the United States, our neighbors and Europe “- she said.

On Friday, “Rosoboronexport” and the French state-owned company DCNS in the presence of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a contract to purchase two French helicopter carrier class “Mistral" assault ships. The location at which the deployment of the ships will take place is yet to be determined.

Statements made by Ros-Lehtinen, are not the official position of the U.S. administration and there have been no statements about military cooperation between Russia and France. However, State Department officials earlier said that they are watching the preparations for the transaction and will assess its impact.
(Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili honours French minister

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili honoured Minister of Cooperation of France Henri de Raincourt for his efforts made to deepen friendship between Georgia and France.

The French minister was honoured with the St. George`s Order for his special friendly relations to Georgia.

Henri de Raincourt is intensively cooperating with Georgia. He opened a hospital funded with a French grant in the town of Gurjaani in Eastern Georgia on Friday. He is also assisting to conduct discussions over Georgia`s engagement in the French Development Agency that would help funding different projects in the country.
(Rustavi 2)

Georgian epic poem read in Japanese in Tbilisi

The Knight in the Panther`s Skin, the epic Georgian poem written in the 12th century by the legendary Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, is the subject of a new project launched by M Group Company and Focus Magazine.

Coinciding with the annual public reading of the poem, representatives of any embassy in Georgia, along with different guests, will publicly read The Knight in the Panther`s Skin in their own language.

Sakura Japanese restaurant in Tbilisi hosted the Japanese Ambassador and organizers of the event. Guests invited to the restaurant read a prologue of the Georgian national epic in Japanese.

The Day of The Knight in the Panther`s Skin has been celebrated in Georgia for 8 years.
(Rustavi 2)