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The News in Brief

Friday, June 14
Parliament Confirms Ambassadors to UN, NATO

On June 12th Parliament confirmed Kakha Imnadze as Georgia’s ambassador to the UN and Levan Dolidze as ambassador to NATO.

Imnadze served as the Deputy Chief of Mission to NATO in 1994-1998; he was deputy secretary of the National Security Council in 1998-2000, supervising defense and foreign policy. In 2000-2003 he served as a press spokesman for then President Eduard Shevardnadze. He has been with the Tbilisi-based think-tank Georgian Institute for Russian Studies since 2009.

Georgia’s incoming ambassador to NATO Levan Dolidze, 33, has served as Deputy Defense Minister since October 2012. He is brother of Victor Dolidze, a lawmaker from the Georgian Dream coalition, who chairs the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration. He served as executive director of the Levan Mikeladze Foundation before becoming Deputy Defense Minister; he was a consul at the Georgian embassy in Switzerland from 2006-2008 and served in President Saakashvili's administration from 2004-2006. (Civil.Ge)

Amendments made to Labor Code

Amendments have been made to the Labor Code. 91 MPs voted in favor of the amendments, while 26 voted against them.

According to the Chairman of the Health Committee Dimitry Khundadze, the new Labour Code will bring about a new phase of labor relations. "We were able to reach a consensus and we adopted labor laws that will protect the interests of both employees and employers." Khundadze said.

According to Khundadze, the previous code was discriminative by allowing employers to dismiss employees without any explanation. (IPN)

Georgia closes two Afghan bases after deadly attacks

Georgia's defense minister says two bases for Georgian troops in Afghanistan have been closed after 10 Georgian soldiers were killed there in recent attacks.

Irakli Alasania announced the closures on June 12th, five days after traveling to Afghanistan to meet with Georgian troops serving there as part of the NATO-led ISAF Mission.

Alasania said the number of Georgian troops in Afghanistan, currently 1,545, would not be reduced in the immediate future.

He said he discussed the base closures with NATO commanders as part of plans to boost security measures against terrorist attacks.

The most recent attack on a Georgian base on June 6th in Helmand Province, killed seven Georgian soldiers and wounded nine others.

Alasania said the Helmand base was one of the two that has closed. (RFE/RL)

MIA: Terrorist attack prevented in Georgia

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has prevented a terrorist attack in Tbilisi. According to a statement made by the ministry, foreigners Mikail Kadyev and Rizwan Omarov were detained on Thursday morning as a result of a joint operation carried out by various law enforcement agencies.

A large quantity of explosives, allegedly plastics, electric detonators, firearms and fake IDs were seized during a search of their house.

Investigators have determined that Kadyev, wanted by Interpol, had been hiding in Georgia since 2011, although periodically leaving the country.

Intensified search operations are underway to determine who might have helped hide the two suspects in Georgia.

Contact has already been made with international anti-terrorist organisations, as Kadyev is wanted in an European country for a crime committed in 2012. (Trend)

Russia wants to make visa regime with Georgia more flexible

Russia is prepared to liberate its visa regime with Georgia, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin has announced. He said the Kremlin is prepared to amend regulations, which would make visa procedures for Georgian nationals visiting Russia more flexible.

“Dialogue on the issue is underway and we want to enlarge the number of Georgian citizens who are granted Russian visas." Karasin said but added as diplomatic relations between the two countries are still not normalized it is too early to speak about this issue concretely. (Rustavi 2)

EU, IFAD to assist Georgian agricultural sector in increasing competitiveness

The EU and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have agreed to financially support the Georgian Ministry of Agriculture with 2 million euros as part of a new three-year project.

Georgian Minister of Agriculture Shalva Pipia stated at a press conference that the new project will increase the competitiveness of the Georgian agricultural sector through the development of an effective policy.

"Attracting highly qualified international experts is one of the goals of the project," he said. "They will assist the ministry on such issues as the promotion of cooperation amongst local farmers, improvement of consultation services for small farmers and the further development of agricultural statistics records." (Trend)

Delegation from Turkish General Staff visits Georgia

A Turkish delegation led by the head of the Asian Planning Department of the General Staff Colonel Rasim Yildiz is visiting the Georgian Border Police.

The Border Police told the website Trend that the visit is being made as part of ongoing efforts to increase bilateral cooperation between Georgia and Turkey on military matters.

The Director of the Border Police Colonel Koba Botchorishvili met with the guests.

Among the issues to be discussed are police reforms and the need for bilateral cooperation. (Trend)

TBC Bank starts tourism infrastructural development projects in Tusheti

On June 13 Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Georgia, TBC Bank, charity association TBC and the Agency of Protected Areas have signed an agreement promoting horse-riding tourism in Tusheti.

TBC Bank has been actively cooperating with the Agency of Protected Areas and the Caucasus Nature Fund for years. This tourism infrastructure development is a two-year project aimed at carrying out infrastructural activities in Tusheti in 2014. The planned projects include rehabilitation of horse-riding trails and a shelter for tourists. (The Messenger)