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The News in Brief

Friday, December 1
Georgia’s Ambassador Denies Rumors of Abkhaz Diplomatic Office in Italy

(ROME) -- Georgia’s Ambassador to Italy Karlo Sikharulidze shot down rumors that rebel authorities from Georgia’s Russian-backed breakaway region of Abkhazia have opened a diplomatic office in Italy.

"As for the opening of the diplomatic representation, this is absolute nonsense. It is disinformation," said Sikharulidze.

Kan Tania, Abkhazia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs recently held a press conference in the southern Italian city of Bari, leading to rumors that Rome may allow the unrecognized secessionist government to open a representative office in Italy. (IPN)

Georgia,Turkmenistan Ready to Develop Transit and Transport Cooperation

(ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan) – Following a meeting between Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov, the two former Soviet republics declared that they are ready to move to a new level of cooperation in the transit and transport spheres.

Both Janelidze and Meredov said the move would coincide with each country taking part in the five-party Lapis Lazuli Corridor Agreement linking Central Asia to Europe. (

PACE Monitors Call for Stronger Checks and Balances in Georgia

(STRASBOURG, France) – The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called upon Georgian authorities to consider adopting additional measures to improve the country’s system of checks and balances and further strengthen the position of opposition parties.

Sweden’s Kerstin Lundgren and Titus Corlatean of Romania carried out a fact-finding mission to Georgia on November 20-22, and welcomed “the improvement of the constitutional framework” in light of the recent constitutional amendments, but expressed concern over the postponed introduction of fully proportional elections.

“In the context of the need to strengthen the system of checks and balances, we expressly call upon the authorities to ensure proper parliamentary oversight and control over the national security services,” the report said, adding that it was “especially important given the reportedly increasing prominence of the security services in the governance of the country, as shown by the planned merger of the Foreign Intelligence and the State Security Services in Georgia.”

The report also sharply criticized the Georgian government for having taken part in and approved the illegal abduction and repatriation to Baku of Azeri journalist Afgan Mukhtarli earlier this year. (