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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 26
Anders Fogh Rasmussen and NAC to arrive in Georgia

The North Atlantic Council (NAC) chaired by the NATO Secretary General will visit Georgia on 26-27 June 2013. The North Atlantic Council’s visit will include meetings with the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, members of the Georgian Parliament, Georgian high officials, representatives of international organizations, NGOs and the media. The Secretary General will chair a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission. The members of the North Atlantic Council will also attend a ceremony for Georgian military personnel to be deployed in Afghanistan. In the framework of the visit, the NATO Secretary General will hold bilateral meetings with Georgian high officials and will deliver a public speech at the National Library of Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

Presidential elections as a litmus for Georgia

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE), Jean-Claude Mignon, said that firstly, it is a question of working together to accompany democratic reforms throughout Europe.

He said Georgia and Azerbaijan, which will both be holding autumn presidential elections, will constitute a litmus test for their democratic institutions. “During my recent visits to Baku and Tbilisi I called on the authorities and all political forces to ensure that these elections take place in a pluralist context meeting international standards. Today, just a few months before the elections, I consider that the Council of Europe and the European Union must make a united effort to intensify our co-operation with these two countries, particularly through the joint programs, thereby permitting them to prepare for the elections under good conditions,” he said opening the Summer Plenary Session of PACE in Strasburg. (Front News)

IMF training course starts in Georgia

A new Institute of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) training course has started in Georgia. The event was officially launched by the Minister of Finance, Nodar Khaduri and IMF Resident Representative in Georgia, Azim Sadykov. The program is being run under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and the IMF Institute. Georgia is taking a regional IMF course for the second time and alongside Georgian colleagues, representatives from seven countries of the South Caucasus and Central Asia will be also attending. The course is scheduled to run from June 24 to July 5 and will be taken by leading experts from the IMF Institute.

The theme of the course is 'Financial Programming and Policies' and participants will have the opportunity to become acquainted with international experience and the participating countries' examples. The seminar is attended by representatives of the Ministries of Finance of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as officials of the Ministries of Finance and Economy of Georgia, the National Bank and the Statistics Service of Georgia.

Holding the IMF training course promotes active involvement of Georgia in IMF international educational programs and will help Georgia to emerge as an educational center for the region. (Trend)

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian transport ministers to meet in Kars

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Georgian transport ministers will meet in the Turkish city of Kars to discuss the implementation of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project from June 26-28, 2013 when ministers will become acquainted with the railway's construction.

It is planned to construct a new 105 kilometer branch railway as part of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project. In addition, the section of the Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Marabda railway will be reconstructed in Georgia which will increase its capacity to 15 million tons of cargo per year. It is planned to build a center in Akhalkalaki for the transition of trains from the existing train tracks in Georgia to the European one.

It is expected that around 30 million tons of cargo a year will be transported via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line each year which will become a direct route to the European rail network.

In future, after the completion of the Marmara project (construction of a tunnel under the Bosporus), the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will provide access to Europe. (Trend)

EU to allocate 4 million euros to Georgia

The European Union has decided to transfer 4 million euros to the state budget of Georgia. This amount will be the first tranche in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).

"We are pleased with the progress achieved in the development policy of Agriculture of Georgia. Evidence of this is created in areas agricultural service centers, which provide advice to farmers, and the new legislation, initiated with the aim of creating farmer cooperatives. All of these activities are carried out in accordance with the priorities and direction provided by the ENPARD program," EU Ambassador to Georgia Philip Dimitrov said on Monday. (Trend)

PACE removes debates on Georgia from agenda

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has removed the debates on Georgia from the agenda as the greater majority of lawmakers voted against holding the debates. The positions were divided in two parts - one part of the European lawmakers thought that the debates on situation in Georgia had to be held with the participation of Georgian MPs, however, most lawmakers decided that after the recent report of the Georgian Prime Minister at PACE and the meetings held with Georgian authorities there was no need for holding such debates. (Rustavi 2)