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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 11
Details of incident with Georgian president in Turkey revealed

The Georgian President's administration released details of the incident that happened with Mikheil Saakashvili in Turkey.

The doctors had to put 40 stitches on Saakashvili's shoulder, which was fractured in three places, and to fix the fractures, metal rods had to be inserted, the administration of the President of Georgia announced on Wednesday.

According to the announcement, due to the high public interest in the incident, the administration states that Saakashvili suffered during the daily bicycle ride and was operated on at the Istanbul American Hospital.

"The president had his shoulder fractured in three places that is why he had a surgery operation on Sunday night. Saakashvili spent several hours under anesthesia, and the operation was performed by a Turkish surgeon, Professor Mehmet Demirhan," the announcement says.

According to the physicians, Saakashvili's full rehabilitation will take a month.

According to the administration, after spending two days in the hospital, the president held a meeting in Ankara on Tuesday. On Wednesday he returned to Tbilisi.

Saakashvili highly appreciated the Turkish healthcare system, saying that it had taken a "big step" in the development during recent years. (Trend)

Gul supports the development of strategic cooperation with Georgia, Azerbaijan

Turkish President Abdullah Gul stands for the strengthening of strategic ties with Georgia and Azerbaijan. Abdullah Gul said this in Ankara at a meeting with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, according to the news service for the Turkish president, reports.

The Turkish President drew attention to the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) and the Trans-Anatolian pipeline, noting that such regional initiatives have strengthened ties with Baku and Tbilisi.

The Turkish President also touched on bilateral relations with Georgia, saying that political stability in this country is of great importance for the whole region. Gul said that in the last 10 years, Turkey's direct investment in the Georgian economy has exceeded a billion dollars.

Saakashvili, for his part, expressed satisfaction with the level of development of relations with Turkey, thanking Ankara for the steps to support the efforts of Tbilisi's integration into NATO. (News.Az)

PM: GD Expected to Announce Presidential Candidate in May

Georgian Dream coalition will announce its presidential candidate for the October election in May at the latest, PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said on April 10, adding that he personally has already made his pick.

“We will be able to tell the society about our candidate probably in May at the latest. Personally I have already made my choice, but it has yet to be agreed upon within the team [Georgian Dream coalition],” the PM said at a news conference on April 10.

“I think that we have dignified people, which will be acceptable to society and whose [chances for] winning the presidential election will be good,” Ivanishvili added. (Civil.Ge)

A new commission to be formed at parliament

A special commission will be formed at the parliament of Georgia to investigate the reasons of the Georgia-Russia War in 2008, according to leader of the parliamentary majority Davit Saganelidze. He says the ruling party does not trust the first conclusion made by the commission chaired by Paata Davitaia. The controversy on the reasons of the August War was resumed after the statement of the Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, who did not rule out the need to interrogate President Saakashvili regarding the political developments of that period. (Rustavi 2)

Defense Minister confirms conversation with ex-official

Minister of Defense of Georgia Irakli Alasania has confirmed that he had a conversation with the former chief of staff of the Georgian armed forces Gigi Kalandadze. The minister explained in an interview with TV9 that indeed he proposed that Kalandadze cooperate with the investigation on the violations and violence at the ministry if he was sure that he had not committed a crime he was charged with.

The minister said he was sorry that Kalandadze lied to the media when he said that he was offered an illegal deal to provide testimony against the former minister Bacho Akhalaia. Kalandadze said the dialogue took place a few minutes before the detention. (Rustavi 2)

PM says the country should dismiss the third president culturally

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili told journalists at the event dedicated to the 24th anniversary of the April 9 tragedy that the nation should manage to allow the third president of the country to leave his position culturally. The Prime Minister briefly recollected the history of the two previous presidents– he said the first president was no longer alive, everybody knew how the people treated the second one and now the time has come to behave culturally.

“We should succeed and behave culturally. Along with our aspiration to freedom, we should show our culture,” Prime Minister said. (Rustavi 2)

Irakli Alasania – May 26 events are being planned

The Defence Minister Irakli Alasania says that the 26th of May events are being planned, Alasania said on Channel 9. When asked who will officially receive the parade and what will be Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s role in it, the minister said that the final plan has not been agreed on yet and a decision on the military component of the event will be known in several days. Alasania said the plan will be discussed with the Prime Minister. (IPN)

Salome Katamadze's performance impressed judges of Jurmala contest

Even though Georgia had been left out of the annual Jurmala music contest during the recent years, the number of performers wishing to participate in this year's contest was high enough to make the judges– who travelled to Georgia on April 2 to choose from thirty best artists– spend more than an hour discussing their impressions.

The judges ultimately selected the winner of the "New Voice" competition Salome Katamadze and finalist of the contest Nini Tsnobiladze for promotion. The two were invited for the final stages in Kiev on April 5 and the final selection of the panel fell on Katamadze, who performed the famous "We Are the World" as well as a Georgian song titled "Where Are You Heading". (Georgian News TV)