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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 27
World leaders meet in Seoul to discuss nuclear security

Leaders from over 50 countries, including Georgia, are currently participating in the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

President Mikheil Saakashvili has already held tete-a-tete discussions with President of the United States Barack Obama, Council of Europe President Herman Van Rompuy, President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Germany, and the Prime Ministers of Turkey, Norway, and Thailand.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev held his last meeting as President with Obama during the summit. The two leaders discussed global issues, including the situation in Syria, the Iran nuclear crisis, and missile defense systems. Medvedev emphasized that differences between the United States and Russia remain on all these issues, however he believes that negotiations will continue.

Obama commented that he will hold negotiations about the reduction of nuclear weapons with President-elect Vladimir Putin at a meeting scheduled after Putin's inauguration at the end of May.

The first session of the Nuclear Security Summit was dedicated to the discussion of global nuclear security issues. South Korea has reinforced its security for the summit.
(Rustavi 2)

Free trade talks between Georgia and EU to be held March 27-28

The first round of official free trade negotiations between Georgia and the EU will be held in Tbilisi March 27-28, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nino Kalandadze announced.

“This is one of the most important issues in the framework of the association agreement and we salute the negotiations,” she remarked.

Minashvili: Ivanishvili refused Georgian citizenship

Chair of the Parliament Foreign Relations Committee Akaki Minashvili has stated that he would not restore Bidzina Ivanishvili’s citizenship if he were President.

Minashvili commented on a statement made by Maia Panjikidze, spokesperson for Ivanishvili's political coalition, Georgian Dream. As he told journalists, Ivanishvili said no to Georgian citizenship – a valuable privilege – when he chose to become both a Russian and a French citizen.

Panjikidze asserted last week that the government must restore Ivanishvili’s citizenship.

The government's decision to restore his citizenship through naturalization is expected to be announced on April 5.

Georgian chess players late to European Championship

Georgia's male chess team was late to the sixth round of the European Chess Championship in Plovdiv.

Lelo reports that the Georgian players failed to take European Summer Time into consideration, when clocks are advanced by one hour.

After six rounds, 10 players led with 5-5 points, none of them Georgians.

Badur Jobava and Levan Pantsulaia have 4-5 points each, while Shota Azaladze and Mikheil Mtchedlishvili have 4-4. Davit Lomsadze has 3-5, Davit Benidze has 3, Luka Paitchadze has 2-5, Gaioz Nigalidze has 2, and Giorgi Khelaia has 0-5.

Games resume for a seventh round today.

EU delegation shows support for breakaway region newspaper project

Chair of the NGOs Georgian-Abkhaz House and Georgian-Ossetian House, Nestan Kirtadze, met with the Deputy Ambassador of the European Union delegation to Georgia, Boris Yaroshevich.

As InterPressNews reports, the men discussed the group's newest initiative, in which weekly newspapers called Tbilisi-Sokhumi and Tbilisi-Tskhinvali will be published in both Georgian and the Abkhaz and Ossetian languages.

“We’ll be the first subscribers of the weekly publication, which I will read with great pleasure and interest,” Yaroshevich said.

Kirtadze has called the project "unprecedented", as it is the first direct dialogue with the conflict regions initiatied by the media.

The project will work alongside a partner publication, Tbilisi's Svobodnaya Gruzia.