Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eka Tkeshelashvili to visit Vienna

Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili will participate in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session in Vienna. She embarked for the Austrian capital on September 17. Debates on Georgian-Russian relations are on the agenda of the Assembly Session.
“There will be very significant discussion regarding the current situation in Georgia at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session. [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov has refused to be questioned in open debates and won’t take part in this session”, Tkeshelashvili declared.
The Georgian Foreign Minister will also attend the 63rd session of UN General Assembly, which opened in New York on September 17, alongside the Georgian President.

Ban Ki-moon supports extending UN Mission mandate in Georgia

Ban Ki-moon supports extending the mandate of the UN Mission to Georgia. “The UN Peace Mission’s mandate in the Abkhazian conflict zone expires on October 15, it must be extended. The UN operation in Georgia, due to recent events in the region, also needs to be concretized,” the UN Secretary General said.
Ban Ki-moon says that the work of the mission must correspond to the new reality in Georgia.

Sergey Lavrov – Thank God Saakashvili is a unique phenomenon

Recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia does not create a precedent for Transdnestria and Nagorno Karabakh, Sergey Lavrov declared at the Federation Council on September 18. “Russia will take an active part in resolving all conflicts in the CIS space peacefully. This will be done according to international law, UN resolutions and previous agreements. We will act as mediator during negotiations which refer directly to Transdnestria and Nagorno Karabakh”, Lavrov stressed.
Lavrov declared that Russia will not use the methods of the Georgian Government to settle regional problems and will not bomb civilians and peacekeepers. “Thank God, Saakashvili is a unique phenomenon,” Lavrov said.

Sergey Lavrov – Our relations with the Georgian People have not ceased

Moscow wants to know the viewpoint of ordinary Georgians regarding relations with the Russian Federation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated. “Relations with Georgia have not ceased. I hope and am sure that the Georgian people will acquire a worthy President, interested in good neighbourly relations with all states,” Lavrov said. He stressed that Russia did not break diplomatic relations with Georgia, but vice versa. “We want to know how people see this,” Lavrov stated, adding that “the Georgian Government talked about preserving consular relations when it broke off full diplomatic relations.”

Georgia to address international organizations regarding mine clearance

Georgia will ask international organizations and other countries for assistance with mine clearance operations. Georgia will draw up its 5th Statement of Case concerning “the explosive remains of the war,” as discussed at the Parliamentary Defence and Security Committee.
The country is committed to locating and marking undetonated explosives and clearing and destroying all mines on Georgian territory. A concrete plan for doing this, and its financial implications, have been discussed by the Defence and Security Committee. Implementing these commitments will cost money, and although the required expense is certainly within the limits of the present budget, other countries will also be approached for assistance.

Georgian First Lady visits Marneuli

Georgian First Lady Sandra Reolofs visited the Marneuli region on September 18 to open a new public school in the village of Molaoghi. The school opening was also attended by Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Georgia Namik Aliev, Kvemo Kartli Governor Davit Kirkitadze and Deputy Assistant Education and Science Minister Aleksandre Chikvaidze. The First Lady congratulated pupils at the start of the academic year and bestowed on them gifts from the President - bags, books and school uniforms.

This new school was built within two months as part of the Iakob Gogebashvili programme. Chikvaidze and Davit Kirtitadze have also opened another school, in the city of Bolnisi, rehabilitated as part of the same project.

Beeline gains 25.3% more subscribers between April and June

The subscriber base of the Beeline telecommunications company increased by 25.3% in the period April-June, according the company’s published financial results. The General Director of its parent company Vimpelkom, Aleksandr Izosimov, has stated that the company is satisfied with Beeline’s performance in Georgia. “The company has shown a serious increase in income compared with last year,” Izosimov said. Beeline profits amounted to 3,891,710 US Dollars in the reporting period.

Debates on the Georgian President’s annual report held on September 18

Debates about the Georgian President’s annual report to Parliament were held on September 18 at an extraordinary session. Deputies discussed the new democratic reforms which the President intends to introduce.

Having heard the report on September 16, members of the majority party reaffirmed the importance of the President’s initiatives. The opposition however raised new questions in addition to evaluating these initiatives. Although generally agreeing with them, the opposition considers the Presidential initiatives inadequate to fully develop democracy.

The opposition is developing additional proposals concerning the election code, court reform, limitations on Executive power, freedom of the media and local self-government. It has once again demanded that a commission to investigate August’s events is established.