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The News in Brief

Monday, April 15
Armenian President, Georgian FM discuss cooperation issues

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan received Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze recently. President Sargsyan noted that high level relations formed by the neighboring states over last 20 years correspond to the historic relationship between the friendly states.

During the meeting, Panjikidze and her Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian, presented the steps taken by the foreign ministries in order to strengthen cooperation and spoke about the work on the demarcation of the Armenian-Georgian border.

The Armenian leader expressed gratitude to Premier Bidzina Ivanishvili for his attention to Armenian cultural monuments and his readiness to assist the renovation process.

The sides discussed the deepening of cooperation in the fields of culture and education, as well as the strengthening of economic ties.

The Georgian FM, on behalf of her country’s leadership, once again extended good wishes and congratulations on Sargsyan’s re-election of a second term.

The sides exchanged view on regional issues and cooperation within the framework of EU Eastern Partnership project.

Judge removed from hall former Defense Minister of Georgia

Tbilisi City Court Judge Georgi Darakhvelidze, removed accused former Defense Minister of Georgia, Bacho Akhalaia, from the hall during the proceedings on Friday. During the interrogation of one of the witnesses for the prosecution of David Shpetishvili, the judge reprimanded Akhalia for arguing against the prosecutor and the witness, noting that it was a reprimand and if the defendant did not consider this, he would be removed from the hall. Bacho Akhalaia answered that he would lose nothing if he did not listen. Therefore the judge ordered to remove the defendant from the hall. Following Akhalia, his lawyer Romeo Sajaia also left the hall. The judge warned that he doesn't have the right to do this, and fined him 500 laris.

Akhalia is accused in the abuse of authority and the inhumane treatment with servicemen.

Georgian President meets Deputy PM of Poland

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili met in Warsaw with the brother of the former President Lech Kaczynski, Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the presidential administration reported on Friday. Saakashvili once again expressed his deep regret for the tragic death of Kaczynski and noted that Georgia has lost a true friend and a strong supporter in the international arena. The president recalled the merits of Lech Kaczynski during the war in Georgia, when he was supporting the Georgian people in its most difficult times.

At the meeting, the two sides also agreed on further cooperation. In turn, Jaroslaw Kaczynski again expressed his full support for the territorial integrity of Georgia and the process of its integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, and wished success to the country. The First Lady of Georgia also participated at the meeting.

Georgia, EU conclude talks on association agreement

Georgian State Minister for Integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, Aleksi Petriashvili, met with members of the Board of Public Advisors on European integration.

According to the state minister, the meeting discussed the dynamics of the negotiations between the EU and Georgia on signing an association agreement. “We want the public to be informed about the process of negotiation. The last round of talks on the agreement was held recently and today we have every reason to state that the initialing of the document will be possible at the Vilnius summit which will take place in the autumn,” Petriashvili said.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davit Zalkaliani noted that negotiations on the association agreement are almost complete and the parties are currently working on the technical details. As was noted at the meeting, discussion of the most difficult parts of the agreement fell to the new Georgian government.

Georgia marks Mother Language Day on 14 April

Mother Language Day is marked in Georgia on 14 April. 35 years ago, in 1978, the Soviet Government decided to stop the state language status of the local languages in its allied republics. Russian would be the only state language in the Soviet Union. Some thousands of Georgians, mostly students and youth, protested this decision in Tbilisi on Rustaveli Avenue on 14 April.

Mass demonstrations were held in Tbilisi from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University to the Supreme Council (currently parliament building in Tbilisi). Similar processes took place in Batumi, where the constitution of Adjara’s Autonomous republic had to be approved and the article on the Georgian language was removed. The Soviet government had two choices: blood shed or compromise. Moscow was obliged not to take the amendments to the constitution. Thus,

14 April was declared as Mother Language Day. The historians consider that this day was the incentive of the National Movement in the 80s. Different events are planned annually on this day near the Mother Language Monument.