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The News in Brief

Thursday, January 18
Georgian, Latvian Parliaments Sign Strategic Partnership Memorandum

Georgian Parliamentary Chairman Irakli Kobakhidze, who is paying an official visit to Latvia on January 15-17, held talks with his Latvian counterpart Inara Murniece, as well as Foreign and Economy Ministers, Edgars Rinkevics and Arvils Aseradens, respectively.

The two parliamentary chairs discussed future cooperation between the two countries’ legislatures as well as Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Kobakhidze thanked Murniece for the Latvian legislature’s support for Georgia in this regard.

Murniece seized upon the opportunity to once again voice her country’s support for both Georgia’s western aspirations, and its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Kobakhidze and Murniece signed a memorandum on strategic partnership between the Parliament of Georgia and the Saeima [parliament] of Latvia. The memorandum envisions greater inter-parliamentary cooperation, coordination of work in international parliamentary organizations, and exchange programs for the staffs of the two countries’ legislatures.

According to the Georgian Parliament, Murniece described the Georgian-Latvian cooperation as “based on values,” and focused on “aspiration for democracy, Euro-Atlantic integration, and our cultural values and connections.” The Saeima Speaker pledged Latvia’s continued “firm” support for Georgia in the future.

In a meeting with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, Kobakhidze called Latvia “a special and faithful friend of Georgia,” and discussed with him the “grave humanitarian situation” existing in the Georgian regions under the Russian occupation.

Rinkevics gave positive assessment to the Eastern Partnership Summit of November 2017 and “pointed out that the document on 20 Deliverables for 2020 approved at the summit is a stepping-stone towards the strengthening of tangible cooperation between the EU and its partner countries.” He also encouraged Georgia to continue its process of reforms, “especially in the field of justice, the rule of law, good governance and economy.”

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens said after the meeting with Kobakhidze that the two discussed One Belt One Road Initiative, as well as the ways to improve bilateral cooperation in the future, the Georgian Parliament reported.

Kobakhidze also met with Chairperson of the Constitutional Court of Latvia, Ineta Ziemele, and concluded his visit by holding talks with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis. (

Ministry of Internal Affairs demands tougher penalty for realization of drugs

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia demands to tighten the penalty for realization of drugs , - Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Gakharia stated.

"I want to focus on some important aspects of the drug policy. First of all, the main task of drug policy should be rehabilitation of drug addicts and prevention of the increase in the number of drug addicts. All humanization and so-called liberalization of the drug policy should prevent the risk of encouragement. This is very important. On the other hand, we, as a body combating drug addiction, unequivocally demand the tightening of punishment of drug distribution. Nevertheless, we understand that components, such as the term of sentence or forms of examination should be reviewed and our legislation should be made more progressive. On the other hand, we should take into consideration that the Constitutional Court decisions created status quo and we, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, think that one of the most important directions of drug policy today is to create a further legislative framework for the decisions made by the Constitutional Court. Today, I have an impression that some members of our community think that marijuana consumption is allowed. In reality this is not true," Giorgi Gakharia said.

Accordingly, according to the Minister of Internal Affairs, after the decision made by the Constitutional Court, we need to create legislative framework that will enable us not to encourage drug abuse and at the same time, not to mislead the citizens. (IPN)