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The News in Brief

Tuesday, December 3
Georgian vice-speaker: Cooperation in GUAM format important for European integration

Chairman of the GUAM Parliament Assembly and Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Zurab Abashidze thinks cooperation in the GUAM format is an important step on the way to European integration.

GUAM brings together four countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan. These countries have chosen European integration and are included in the Eastern Partnership program.

GUAM actively cooperates with the Assembly of Baltic countries, as well as the Benelux and Visegrad group, Abashidze said. GUAM plans to intensify relations with the Scandinavian countries in the near future.

Tbilisi is hosting the sixth meeting of the GUAM Parliament Assembly today. Alongside parliamentary delegations from GUAM countries, representatives of Poland, Latvia and Estonia are also participating.

Georgia is currently chair country of GUAM, but will hand over the rotating chairmanship to another member state soon.

The GUAM format was established by post-Soviet countries in 1997 at a meeting in Strasburg. In 1999 Uzbekistan joined this format but left after four years.

At the first summit in Kiev in 2006, a decision was adopted declaring GUAM an international organization with the official title The Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.

Georgian foreign minister to attend NATO ministerial meeting

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze will participate at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting on December 3rd-4th.

At the NGC meeting at NATO headquarters on December 4th, Panjikidze will discuss the country's current democratic process and the Euro-Atlantic integration process with NATO officials. Panjikidze will deliver a speech at the ministerial.

During her visit to Brussels, the Georgian foreign minister will also meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and hold bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of NATO member countries.

President’s advisor sums up the visit to Vilnius

The president`s advisor for foreign relations, Vano Matchavariani, has summed up the Vilnius Summit, where Georgia initialed associate and free trade relations agreement with the European Union.

“Giorgi Margvelashvili, as the president of Georgia, made a very positive impression in Vilnius. He presented himself as a leader whose vision, principles and values are clearly European. He is a Georgian politician, but with his European experience and knowledge, many people found common language with him and the meetings in general were very positive.” Matchavariani said.
(Rustavi 2)

Pardon Commission to discuss 80 convicts’ cases

The Pardon Commission, under new chairperson Aleko Elisashvili, plans to discuss 80 convicts’ cases this week. The convicts, whose cases will be approved and sent to the president for confirmation, will be released from prisons by January. Currently there are 600 cases that have been sent to the Pardon Commission for review.
(Rustavi 2)

Baku to host next meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers

The next meeting of Azeri, Georgian and Turkish foreign ministers will be held in Baku in 2014. Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Ismail Alper Coshgun said the preliminarily trilateral meeting has been scheduled for January.

This will be the third such meeting with the second having been held in March 2013 in Batumi.

The cornerstone of the group was laid on June 8, 2012 in the Turkish city of Trabzon within the Trabzon Declaration signed by the foreign ministers of the three countries. The declaration reflects the most important directions of cooperation between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in the economic, energy, infrastructure, transport, culture and humanitarian spheres.

The ministers of the three countries adopted an action plan for interagency cooperation for 2013-2015 in Batumi. The plan was worked out by relevant agencies and envisages the implementation of concrete projects and initiatives.

The plan covers spheres such as the economy, energy, environmental protection, culture, education, sport and youth.

Russia can do nothing to influence Georgia

Armenian political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan believes Russia cannot exert any more influence on Georgia.

“As to Moldova, the country will have elections next year. The Russian supported recycled communists are likely to win. Russia will exert more influence on Moldova next year.” he noted.

Georgia and Moldova initialed the EU Association Agreement and free trade agreement in Vilnius on November 28th.

Georgia wins 5th place at Junior Eurovision 2013

Georgia won fifth place at the 11th annual Junior Eurovision contest at the National Palace of Arts in Kiev on November 30th.

The competition featured participants from twelve countries. The Smile Shop, representing Georgia, received 91 points for their performance, while Gaia Cauchi from Malta took first prize for the song“The Start.”
(Georgian News)