The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Friday, July 19
European Parliament website says meetings are scheduled with the Georgian Prime Minister and the Defense Minister

According to information posted on the European Parliament website, several members of the European Parliament are planning to meet the Georgian Prime Minister and the Defense Minister. "Arnaud Danjean will lead a delegation of the subcommittee on Security and Defense to Georgia. The other MEPs are Krzysztof Lisek, Maria Eleni Koppa, Ana Gomes and Teresa Riera Madurell." the website reads.

According to the European Parliament website "MEPs will visit the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and also meet the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament."

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Alasania canceled a meeting with the European Parliament MP's.

However, the Prime Ministerís press service denied doing this. "The Prime Ministerís press service wants to state that the Presidentís statement about the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister having canceled a meeting with European parliamentarians on July 17th is incorrect. The meeting was not scheduled and consequently, it was not canceled." the statement of the PMís press service. The statement adds that as Ivanishvili was preparing for an important visit to Poland and Lithuania, no meeting was scheduled with European parliamentarians. As for the Defense Minister, PMís press service explained that Irakli Alasania was hosting his Armenian counterpart. (IPN)

EBRD President visits Georgia

Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), met with Prime Minister Ivanishvili, Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri and Economic Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on July 16th.

"EBRD has a really strong relationship and very strong partnership with Georgia-a 2.6 billion dollar partnership of many years." Chakrabarti said after the meeting.

"I expect us to put invest another 200 million dollars in the near future. That is a sign of our confidence in Georgia and its future.Ē

To date, the EBRD has invested a total of 1.8 billion Euros for 158 projects in various sectors of the Georgian economy, according to the Bank.

The EBRD plans to approve its new country strategy for Georgia in September 2013, which, according to the EBRD, will have three main priorities: fostering private sector investment; modernization of the energy sector with a modern regulatory framework and promoting Georgiaís regional and global economic integration with an emphasis on projects in infrastructure, logistics, telecommunications and the financial sector.

During the visit the EBRD president will also meet Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze; President of the National Bank of Georgia Giorgi Kadagidze, as well as representatives of local partner banks and businesses. (Civil.Ge)

Georgian specialists to observe restoration of Ishkhani

A group of Georgian specialists have left for Turkey to observe restoration work being carried out at Ishkhani church. Ishkhani, Oshki and several other monuments of Georgia`s cultural heritage are situated in what once was the Tao-Klarjeti region of Georgia but is now part of Turkey. Reportedly, experts also plan to visit the Oshki church, which is in critical state but not under observation currently.

President Saakashvili said he discussed this matter during a recent meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and that Erdogan promised that Georgian specialists would be allowed to visit the site. However, the Georgian deputy minister of culture has claimed that this was agreed upon much earlier. (Rustavi 2)

UNM withdraws from public discussions of proposed constitutional amendments

The opposition United National Movement (UNM) has withdrawn from public discussions of the amendments to the constitution. UNM members took this decision after an incident that occurred at the last public discussion in the city of Rustavi, where Georgian Dream activists verbally insulted UNM members. The opposition think it is impossible to work effectively in such conditions and have called on the ruling party to set an example of good conduct during these public meetings. Meanwhile, NGOs think that the participation of all sides in the discussions is very important as the whole purpose of the meetings is to ensure that all sides' views are heard.

Among the proposed changes to the constitution being discussed are procedures for granting dual citizenship to Georgian citizens, reduction of the president's powers and the quorum necessary for constitutional amendments. (Rustavi 2)

Minister: Georgian-Armenian relations are a priority for Georgian government

Georgian-Armenian relations are a priority for the Georgian government, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said after a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan. Alasania stressed that good Georgian-Armenian relations ensure regional security.

"We discussed bilateral cooperation between the countries in accordance with the plan that we adopted earlier this year." Alasania said. "Moreover, we talked about priorities of our countries for 2014."

According to Ohanyan, Armenia is interested in intensifying cooperation with Georgia in the sphere of defense. "Today we have discussed regional security issues which concern the South Caucasus." he noted. "Georgia and Armenia have been cooperating in the sphere of defense in accordance with a plan since 2011 which includes the exchange of experience in the sphere of military education and training." Ohanyan said.

Ohanyan also met with Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Chairman of the Parliament David Usupashvili during his visit to Georgia. (Trend)

Information about the governmentís work to be available to people

Georgiaís Ministry of Justice held a round table with USAID earlier this week. The key aim of the meeting was to discuss the government's plan regarding the publication of official information and electronic requests.

Deputy Minister of Justice Sandro Baramidze stated that in any democratic country, the government is accountable to the people and that the public knows how the government works.

"Information about the governmentís work must be available to people. We have a liberal environment regarding information and liberty, but from September 1st, a process for proactive publication of information will be activated, which means that all public institutions will be obliged to upload certain types of information on their web pages, and this round table is devoted to what type of information is concerned." the deputy minister of justice said. (IPN)