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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 23
Deputy Foreign Minister Resigns

Deputy Foreign Minister, Nikoloz Vashakidze, has quit his post citing his disagreement with “the [government’s] current foreign policy course and style.”

“The reason behind my decision was incompatibility with the current foreign policy course and style. I can’t say more than that at this stage. That’s a matter of serious conversation so I limit myself with only these [remarks],” Vashakidze told the Georgian news agency InterPressNews on January 22.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze offered Vashakidze to continue working in the diplomatic service, as she considers him to be a professional, but Vashakidze declined.

Vashakidze held the first deputy foreign minister’s post under the previous leadership of the ministry before the new government came into office. After the change of government, Vashakidze retained one of the deputy minister's posts and also became Georgia’s chief negotiator in the Geneva talks.

The Foreign Ministry has yet to decide who will replace Vashakidze on the deputy minister’s post. (Civil.Ge)

Ilia II – I am sure Georgia’s Territorial Integrity will be Restored

Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II is sure that Georgia will regain its lost territories, reports Interfax from Ilia’s visit to Russia. “We are sure that with the help of God, the wise and brave people in Georgia, Georgia’s territorial integrity will be restored. The sooner this happens, the better it will be for everyone,” the Patriarch declared. An award ceremony was led by Russia’s Patriarch. He said that Ilia II had a great role in establishing the norms of Christian life and in strengthening belief. Patriarch Kirill said Ilia II is respected not only by the Georgian people, but the whole Orthodox Christendom.

“His wisdom and deep experience helped Russian and Georgian churches even in the most difficult years of relations between the states to preserve brotherly love,” Patriarch Kirill said.

“Ave Maria” composed by the Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia was performed at the Christmas festival in Russia. (IPN)

Delegation Set up to Visit Moscow for Negotiations about Georgian Product

A Georgian delegation has been set up to visit Moscow for the negotiations on the return of Georgian products to the Russian market. Minister of Agriculture Davit Kirvalidze told Rustavi 2 that it has been confirmed that the political issue is removed and only technical details remain.

“Technical issues need to be negotiated. We highlight that the rules of the game should be clear and equal for everyone. This is our precondition. The market we enter has its demands, though this demand has its rules,” Kirvalidze said. He said representatives of the ministry, the private sector, wine sector and the sanitary service entered the delegation. Russia’s chief sanitary doctor, Genady Onishenko, has expressed readiness to hold negotiations on Georgian wine and mineral waters in late January. The Russian media reports that Onishenko declared that the will of representatives of Georgia’s different departments to take part in the negotiations indicate that the Georgian government has a serious approach to the issue. (IPN)

Sergey Lebedev – CIS Door is Open for Georgia

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) support Georgia’s decision to return. The CIS door is open for Georgia,” head of the executive committee of the CIS Sergey Lebedev stated, Ria Novosti reports. Lebedev notes that everything depends on Georgia’s position. He says that bilateral contacts between the Georgian leadership and CIS countries are preserved, though “time will show what and how will be in the future”.

Georgia left the CIS after the 2008 August War. (IPN)

Irakli Gharibashvili – New Instance Revealed in 10-month-old Barbare Rapaliants Death Case

Georgia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashviil said that serious and new instances have been revealed by the investigation into 10-month-old Barbare Rapaliants death case. “Unfortunately, I have to repeat that there has not been an immediate response to this incident and the investigation was not conducted the right away, which hindered the process. Now other serious and new instances have emerged, though I will restrain from making additional comments on this matter,” Gharibashvili told journalists referring to his statement about two months ago that the real picture of the case would be clear in about three weeks was hasty. 10-month-old Barbare Rapalitants was found dead in a Kvevri (used to store wine) in September 2012 in the village Kolagi, of the Gurjaani region. (IPN)

Guram Sagharadze was buried at Didube Pantheon

Georgian actor Guram Sagharadze was buried yesterday at Didube pantheon. The service for the deceased was held at the Rustaveli Theatre where his colleagues and friends recollected his contributions to the Georgian people and culture. Born in 1929, Sagharadze was the actor of Rustaveli theatre troupe for decades. On November 13, 2006, his star was opened in front of Rustaveli theatre. Sagharadze died on the January 17, 2013, at the age of 84. (IPN)