In brief, News

Zourabichvili loses appeal

by | September 10, 2013
salome_zourabichvili_2013-09-10

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Appeals Court in Georgia Tuesday upheld a decision by the Central Election Commission (CEC) to not allow Salome Zourabichvili to register as a presidential candidate. Zourabichvili earlier lost an appeal in Tbilisi City Court. The CEC's decision,

In brief, News

54 through first hurdle ahead of presidential election in Georgia

by | September 8, 2013
cesko_CEC

TBILISI, DFWatch--54 persons are through the first hurdle in the upcoming presidential election in Georgia as the deadline to register as a candidate expired on Friday. Among applicants are Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Georgian Dream coalition's candidate, and Davit Bakradze,

In brief, News

Parliament evacuated after another bomb threat

by | September 7, 2013
parliament

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian parliament building in Kutaisi was evacuated Friday due to a bomb threat. Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili appealed to lawmakers to leave the building, despite the fact that a bomb threat earlier this year turned out to

In brief, News

Georgia’s Ivanishvili visiting Latvia

by | September 6, 2013
ivanishvili_bidzina_-

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is visiting Latvia for two days, starting Friday. The visit begins with a meeting with Andris Bērziņš, President of Latvia, and Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis. Ivanishvili will also meet with the speaker of

In brief, News

Georgia and Russia to meet in Prague in mid September

by | September 4, 2013
abashidze_zurab

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Russia plan another round of direct talks in Prague in the middle of September. The Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Russian Relations, Zurab Abashidze, told journalists on Tuesday that the details of the meeting are

In brief, News

Georgia to brief its diplomatic corps about foreign policy

by | September 2, 2013
MFA Georgia

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Foreign Ministry is holding a conference for its diplomats. Maia Panjikidze, Foreign Affairs Minister, opened the conference in Tbililsi Monday. Prime Minister Ivanishvili and other government representatives will also attend the meeting,

In brief, News

Georgia lacks ambassador to 7 countries, Saakashvili hasn’t signed

by | August 31, 2013
mikheil saakashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is without ambassador in seven countries, because the president has failed to sign their confirmation. Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze said on Saturday that President Mikheil Saakashvili still hasn’t signed the document to confirm

In brief, News

Compromise about minaret will create new inter-religious council

by | August 30, 2013
mosque_demonstration_2013-08-28_aqciaa_mechettan__5__Crop

TBILISI, DFWatch--Agreement was reached by Muslim and Christian leaders in Georgia on Thursday about what to do with a minaret which was removed from a mosque earlier in the week. The Georgian Orthodox Church -- the Patriarchate -- and the organizations Muslims of

In brief, News

Three Georgians released from Tskhinvali detention

by | August 29, 2013
tsitelubani_-_tv1

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three Georgians were released on Wednesday by Russian soldiers in South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway region. Irakli Merebashvili, and the couple Nana Vanishvili, Alexandre Tsertsvadze and their teenage child were detained on August 22 in the village

In brief, News

Georgia releases 429 prisoners who were pardoned

by | August 28, 2013
prison_

TBILISI, DFWatch--429 prisoners were released on Wednesday in connection with the Georgian religious holiday Mariamoba. August 28, Georgia celebrates the assumption of Mary, known as Mariamoba. In connection with the holiday, the president customarily pardons

In brief, News

EU concerned about Putin’s Abkhazia visit

by | August 27, 2013
aleksander_ankvab_-_vladimer_putin_2013-08-26

TBILISI, DFWatch--The European Union Delegation to Georgia expresses concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent visit to Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia. The EU delegation on Tuesday issued a statement saying that it recalls that the EU doesn’t

In brief, News

Olympic Committee chairman released on bail

by | August 27, 2013
city-court-in-tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--The former head of Georgia's National Olympic Committee and the founder of Artesi Ltd were released on 200 000 lari (USD 120 000) bail each and will have 30 days to pay the bail. The Prosecutor’s Office asked for 300 000 bail for each of them. 16

In brief, News

217 prisoners in Georgia recommended for pardoning

by | August 24, 2013
elene-tevdoradze

TBILISI, DFWatch--The pardon commission on Friday reviewed the cases of 500 prisoners. 217 were given a positive recommendation. The commission received recommendations from the president, who has the right to pardon prisoners independently or based on the

In brief, News

New mosque planned in Kakheti, eastern Georgia

by | August 23, 2013
mosque

TBILISI, DFWatch--A mosque is going to be built in a village in Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region. Badrudin Ibragimov, Chairman of National-Cultural Autonomy of Avar in South Caucasus, told Intepressnews that at the moment, the project is acquiring all the necessary

In brief, News

Georgian soldier dies in apparent suicide

by | August 22, 2013
Giorgi_Mebonia

TBILISI, DFWatch--A recruit has died at a Georgian military air base near the capital Tbilisi. According to the ministry, the incident happened on Wednesday at a checkpoint while he was on duty. The body of the deceased, Giorgi Mebonia, has been taken to the National

In brief, News

Armed robbery in Bank of Georgia branch in downtown Tbilisi

by | August 22, 2013
police_line_bank_of_georgia_robbery

TBILISI, DFWatch--Bank of Georgia was subject to an armed robbery in downtown Tbilisi late on Wednesday. The Ministry of Internal Affairs was tight-lipped about the details, beyond noting that an investigation has been launched and criminal experts are studying the

In brief, News

Georgia improves listing on failed states index

by | August 21, 2013
failed_states_-_map

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is in 55th place of 178 countries on the Failed States Index for 2013. This is a slight improvement position compared to previous years. On top of the list are Somalia, Congo, Sudan and South Sudan. The least failed countries are Finland,

In brief, News

Okruashvili detained at Nice airport after scuffle

by | August 17, 2013
irakli okruashvili free on bail 2013-01-11

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former defense minister Irakli Okruashvili was Saturday briefly detained by French police after a scuffle with another Georgian politician, former MP Merab Samadashvili. The scuffle took place at Nice airport. Okruashvili was later released by airport police.

In brief, News

Three prisoners on hunger strike in Ksani prison

by | August 6, 2013
rustavi_prison_guard_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--Three prisoners are on a hunger strike at Ksani prison. The Prison Ministry said Monday that August 1 one of its prisoners, a man called Kakha, had sewed his eyelids shut as a sign of protest, as he perceives himself as innocent and demands to

In brief, News

Six Georgians remain in detention in Tskhinvali

by | August 1, 2013
tskhinvali

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Russian soldiers have detained one more Georgian citizen in a village close to the breakaway region South Ossetia. Locals say Mikheil Khurievi, 63, was in the village Tsitelubani on Georgian-controlled territory when Russian soldiers approached him.

In brief, News

Polish climbers rescued after being trapped for three days

by | August 1, 2013
Elbrus

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Emergency workers in Georgia have saved four Polish climbers who have been trapped for three days atop one of the highest mountains in the Caucasus. The four became trapped on top of the mountain Shkara after one of them fell down when

In brief, News

Iran’s consul offers Georgia assistance in murder case

by | July 30, 2013
iran flag

TBILISI, DFWatch--Iran’s consul in Georgia Ahmad-Reza Arzjani says the suspect in murder of a 16-year-old girl in Batumi Juy 22 has been in Turkey for the last two years. Mariam Kochalidze, 16, was murdered near the beach in Batumi, a Black Sea holiday resort and one

In brief, News

Four Polish climbers trapped in the Caucasus mountains

by | July 29, 2013
Elbrus

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of Polish climbers are requesting help after four of them got stuck in the Caucasus mountains. One of the trapped climbers fell after a rope broke. He did not break any bones, but is having problems moving. Giorgi Dzagnide, head of the Interior

In brief, News

One man detained for parliament bomb scare

by | July 27, 2013
new_parliament_kutaisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Police detained Omar, 71, on suspicion of being behind a false bomb threat at the parliament building in Kutaisi. Thursday parliament building was evacuated to allow law enforcers to conduct a bomb search. It later turned out that the report

In brief, News

One Georgian released by South Ossetia

by | July 19, 2013
Guram_Gigineishvili_released_2013-07-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--South Ossetia has released Guram Gigineishvili, a Georgian who was detained five days ago in a village bordering on Russian-controlled territory. Russian soldiers detained Guram Gigineishvili in the village Bershueti while he was working in

In brief, News

Margvelashvili picks replacement ahead of presidential run

by | July 16, 2013
giorgi_margvelashvili_-_tamar_sanikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Minister of Education Giorgi Margvelashvili has picked his own replacement, as he prepares for the race to be Georgia's next president. The Georgian Dream coalition chose Margvelashvili as its candidate in the upcoming election, and although Georgian

In brief, News

Ivanishvili will visit Lithuania and Poland July 18-19

by | July 16, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili - PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will visit Lithuania and Poland July 18-19. Davit Zalkaliani, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said on Monday’s briefing that Georgia sees visit to Lithuania to be important as it has recently taken

In brief, News

Second detention this week near de facto border

by | July 11, 2013
ditsi 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian soldiers have detained one more Georgian citizen and taken him to Tskhinvali, the capital of the de facto breakaway region South Ossetia. Witnesses claim that the detainee, Guram Gigineishvili, 49, was working in the cornfield in the village

In brief, News

Another Georgian detained at de facto border

by | July 9, 2013
sakorintlo

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border soldiers a few days ago detained another Georgian citizen and brought him to Tskhinvali where he was placed in preliminary detention. The detainee Zurab Salamashvili, 52, from the village Sakorintlo has been in a detention for three

In brief, News

Štefan Füle to visit Georgia July 11-12

by | July 8, 2013
Štefan-Füle

TBILISI, DFWatch--Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, will visit Georgia July 11-12. Davit Jalaghania, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, said at a briefing Monday that the visit is planned to be held in Batumi, a city

In brief, News

Hunger strike over in Georgian women’s prison

by | July 4, 2013
prison

TBILISI, DFWatch--The hunger strike at Rustavi women’s prison is over. Prisoners of No 5 prison facility in Rustavi, a town 20 km south of the capital, had been on hunger strike for two days demanding to get their sentences reduced. Wednesday, Eka Beselia, chair

In brief, News

Hunger strike breaks out in Georgian women’s prison

by | July 3, 2013
rustavi_prison_guard_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--About 80 prisoners at the women's prison in Rustavi have gone on hunger strike demanding to get their sentences reduced. According to the administration of prison No 5 in Rustavi, 20 km away from the capital, the prisoners have no complaints against

In brief, News

Heavy rain flooding the streets of Tbilisi

by | June 27, 2013
heavy rain in Tbilisi 2013-06-27

TBILISI, DFWatch--Heavy rain hit the Georgian capital Thursday evening with hail in some of districts. Rain flooded the first floors of houses and underground pedestrian tunnels. In some districts of Tbilisi there was a short hailstorm. Interpressnews reports that

In brief, News

Israel and Georgia considering visa free travel

by | June 26, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili - benjamin netanyahu 2013-06-25

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says Israel and Georgia may enter an agreement about visa free travel. Ivanishvili said this after meeting with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. He said that they also discussed establishing

In brief, News

NATO tops visit Georgia

by | June 25, 2013
anders fogh rasmussen 2012-11-14

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO's highest political body, the North Atlantic Council, will visit Georgia June 26-27. The delegation, which is headed by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, have planned meetings with President Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Bidzina

In brief, News

Georgia’s GDP in Q1 was USD 3.5 billion

by | June 24, 2013
money cash

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s GDP in the first quarter of 2013 was 5 782.8 million GEL (USD 3 500 million), which is 2.4 percent more than same period last year. According to Georgia's National Statistics Department, industry has the largest share for GDP figures

In brief, News

Council of Europe will discuss the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Georgia

by | June 24, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--PACE will discuss the ‘deteriorating situation in Georgia’ during a session which opens Monday, June 24 and lasts until June 28. Georgia is on today's agenda under the headline ‘changes in the membership of committees’. The name of the topic

In brief, News

Russian border guards detain Georgian near South Ossetia

by | June 21, 2013
ditsi 2

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards have detained two more locals on the de facto border with South Ossetia while several people detained during the last few weeks still remain in detention. According to locals, armed Russian border guards took Zaza Khidasheli

In brief, News

Russia detains a man on border with Abkhazia

by | June 17, 2013
enguri

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian border guards Sunday detained a Georgian citizen near the administrative border around Abkhazia. A reporter for Interpressnews said Russian border guards took Tengiz Kurua from the village Orsantia, Zugdidi. Kurua was walking along the

In brief, News

Two Georgians released by South Ossetia

by | June 4, 2013
ditsi

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Georgian father and son who were detained by Russian soldiers close to the so-called administrative border with South Ossetia a few days ago were were released on Monday. According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, Avtandil and Kakhi Khaduri,

In brief, News

Georgian’s foreign minister visits the US

by | June 4, 2013
maya panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Maya Pankikidze, Foreign Affairs Minister of Georgia, is on a visit to the United States and will today attend a reception in Washington organized by the Georgian embassy to mark Independence Day of Georgia. She will also meet with Miriam Sapiro,

In brief, News

NATO week in Georgia

by | June 2, 2013
nato_flag

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will mark NATO week from 3 to 10th June. It will be opened by NATO envoy James Appathurai and the minister for Euro Atlantic integration. Elene Gotsadze, director of the information center for NATO and EU, said Friday that James Appathurai,

In brief, News

Zestaponi strike over, most demands accepted

by | June 1, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--1 600 workers at the Ferro plant in Zestaponi called off their strike Friday. The strike lasted more than a week, and paralyzed the plant which accounts for 12% of Georgia's national export. Management agreed to enter into negotiations and finally

In brief, News

Georgian metal workers still on strike

by | May 27, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the largest factories in Georgia is still paralyzed by a now week-long strike by hundreds of workers who demand higher salaries, better social conditions, collective contracts and compensation for night shifts. A group of students have joined

In brief, News

PACE’s Mignon visits Georgia on Tuesday

by | May 26, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--The president of PACE will arrive in Georgia May 28 for a two-day visit. Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, is on a regional tour and comes to Georgia after finishing his visit to Azerbaijan. He

In brief, News

Two more charged with May 17 violence

by | May 25, 2013
police line and crowd ii 2013-05-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--Two more persons have been charged with violence on May 17, when a rally against homophobia was disrupted by a crowd of thousands of people encouraged by Orthodox clerics. The clashes led to almost 30 people being injured. The Interior Ministry

In brief, News

Georgia charges two Orthodox clerics after anti-gay violence

by | May 23, 2013
police and priests - 2013-05-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Interior Ministry in Georgia says it is charging two high-ranking clerics who work for the country's Orthodox church. (Article has been corrected.) The police is pressing charges against the archimandrite of Sameba cathedral, Father

In brief, News

Strike continues at Georgian metalworks plant

by | May 22, 2013
Ferro workers

TBILISI, DFWatch--Hundreds workers of Georgia’s large ferroalloy plant in Zestaponi are continuing their strike and do not plan to give up until their demands are met. Three workers have decided to end their hunger strike after consultations with the head

In brief, News

Metalworks plant in Georgia paralyzed by strike

by | May 21, 2013
ferro zestaponi

TBILISI, DFWatch--Metal workers in Zestaponi in western Georgia are on strike and have paralyzed the functioning of a plant which is responsible for 12 percent of Georgia's export. The operation of the Zestaponi ferroalloy plant was suspended almost all of Monday.

In brief, News

Hammarberg: Hard to explain how May 17 could happen

by | May 21, 2013
Thomas Hammarberg

TBILISI, DFWatch--Thomas Hammarberg says it will be difficult to explain to Europe how the May 17 violence could occur in a democratic country such as Georgia. Christian Orthodox activists last Friday used violence to disrupt a planned peaceful event to mark

In brief, News

Calls for a truth and justice commission

by | May 20, 2013
establish justice

TBILISI, DFWatch--Former political prisoners on Sunday held people’s congress at Sport’s Palace in Tbilisi in order to demand the restoration of justice and put the Saakashvili regime on trial. The congress decided to set up a people’s movement with the same

In brief, News

Suspect in sex tape leak out on bail and fired

by | May 15, 2013
gela khvedelidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Gela Khvedelidze, the Deputy Interior Minister accused of leaking a sex tape, is free on USD 3 000 bail and has been removed from his position. Khvedelidze was detained a few days ago for publishing a video with intimate scenes between three people. Wednesday Tbilisi

In brief, News

Georgia preparing second investigation into the 2008 war

by | May 14, 2013
2008_war_soldier

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of eight persons will study crimes commited during and after the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008. Following a decision by Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili, representatives of three bodies will sit in the investigative group and study

In brief, News

21 percent more visitors to Georgia in April

by | May 12, 2013
tbilisi international airport

TBILISI, DFWatch--21 percent more foreigners visited Georgia in April 2013 than in the same month the year before. In the first five months of the year as a whole, 32 percent more foreigners visited the country, compared to the preceding year. These figures

In brief, News

OSCE delegation held closed door meetings

by | May 8, 2013
OSCE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Parliamentarians from the coalition of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and the National Movement (UNM) party of President Saakashvili on Tuesday met with a delegation from the OSCE to discuss current events in Georgia, foreign policy and other

In brief, News

Saakashvili and Aliyev discussed Kars-Akhalkalaki railway

by | May 7, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - ilham aliyev 2013-05-07

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili discussed the construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway with President Ilham Aliyev during his visit to Azerbaijan. The heads of state of the two neighboring countries underlined that the construction of

In brief, News

OSCE parliamentarians visiting Georgia

by | May 7, 2013
radisson blu iveria hotel

TBILISI, DFWatch--A delegation from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) chaired by Wolfgang Grossruck, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, arrives in Georgia today Tuesday for a three day visit. In the delegation are also

In brief, News

Romania recognizes Georgia’s neutral passports

by | May 3, 2013
sukhumi_woman-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--Romania has recognized Georgia's so-called neutral travel documents, which are issued to people living in the breakaway territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia's Foreign Ministry received word of the decision Friday in a note from the

In brief, News

Saakashvili met Kerry and Biden

by | May 2, 2013
john kerry - mikheil saakashvili 2013-05-01

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday continued his tour of the US and held meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden. "We applaud the democratic transition that has been taking place in Georgia," Kerry said in

In brief, News

Alasania disappointed by lack of support from Germany

by | May 2, 2013
irakli alasania

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on Wednesday that in the past, there have been exceeded expectations about Germany's support for Georgia's aspirations to become a NATO member. He said this as he opened a forum to discuss strategic

In brief, News

Third gold to Georgia in judo championship

by | April 27, 2013
Avtandil Chrikishvili - 250x210

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia has its third European judo champion, after Avtandil Chrikishvili won gold medal in men’s 81 kg on Friday. Chrikishvili defeated Tomislav Marijanovic of Croatia in the final to win gold in the 2013 European Championship in Budapest.

In brief, News

Georgia takes second gold in judo championship

by | April 26, 2013
lasha shavdatuashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili Thursday won gold in the European Judo Championship in Budapest. This is Georgia's second gold in this year's championship. The first one was won by Amiran Papinashvili. Before Thursday's win, 21 year old

In brief, News

Kerry promises to visit Georgia

by | April 25, 2013
maya panjikidze - john kerry - brussels 2013-04-24

TBILISI, DFWatch--US Secretary of State John Kerry has promised that he will visit Georgia. Kerry made the promise as he met Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze in Brussels on Wednesday to talk about Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration,

In brief, News

Saakashvili visits US to meet Biden and Kerry

by | April 23, 2013
mikheil-saakashvili-2013-01-05

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Next week President Mikheil Saakashvili plans to visit the US next week to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and his old friend John McCain

In brief, News

92% of Georgians trust Patriarch Ilia II

by | April 22, 2013
Ilia II

TBILISI, DFWatch--92 percent of Georgians say they like Patriarch Ilia II, who for many years has been the most trusted person in the country. According to a new survey published by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on Monday, 75 percent say they like Prime

In brief, News

Ivanishvili to address PACE on Tuesday

by | April 20, 2013
bidzina-ivanishvili-2012-12-09

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on Tuesday. His speech is expected to deal with the new reforms his government has begun of the courts and the constitution,

In brief, News

Georgia to consider legal recognition of church weddings

by | April 20, 2013
jvriswera - church wedding

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia may consider granting legal status to weddings conducted by the church. This issue will be studied in the near future by the commission which handles relations between the state and the Orthodox Church. Today, a marriage

In brief, News

Saakashvili’s allies take leave from parliament

by | April 18, 2013
davit bakradze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Members of Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement party have taken the last two days off from work in parliament in order to prepare for a big rally on April 19. One of the party's leaders, Davit Bakradze, on Wednesday explained that for two

In brief, News

Saakashvili: 100 000 Russian troops crossed border in 2008

by | April 17, 2013
mikheil saakashvili 2013-03-04

Tbilisi, DF Watch - President Mikheil Saakashvili says it was possible to avoid Russia-Georgian war of August 2008 only if Georgia would give up its statehood. He also remembered details of war saying that more than

In brief, News

Ivanishvili visits Germany

by | April 15, 2013
bidzina_ivanishvili_440x369

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is visiting Germany to participate in a conference organized by the German Marshall Fund. Part of the delegation are also Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili, Foreign Affair Minister Maia Panjikidze,

In brief, News

Turkey allows Georgian specialists in monastery works

by | April 13, 2013
Ishkhani monastery - photo buba kudava

TBILISI, DFWatch--Turkey has agreed to allow Georgian specialists to participate in the restoration of a Georgian the 7th century Ishkhani Monastery on its territory. A meeting was held on Friday at the Ministry of Culture of Turkey in Ankara, where representatives

In brief, News

Saakashvili refuses to cooperate with 2008 war inquest

by | April 12, 2013
Mikheil Saakashvili - Bronisław Komorowski - 2013-04-11

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says he doesn’t plan to cooperate with a new investigation of the Russia-Georgia war in August, 2008. “I, as president, distance myself completely from the statement by the prime minister that it was a fault

In brief, News

Hail storm destroyed crops in Georgia

by | April 11, 2013
hail storm kakheti 2013-04-10 i

TBILISI, DFWatch--A hailstorm Wednesday destroyed harvest and flooded the first floors of houses in the village Ruispiri in eastern Georgia. Information Center of Kakheti reports that the hailstorm lasted 20 minutes and ripped the flowers off trees. “The hail

In brief, News

Saakashvili carries on visit with broken arm

by | April 10, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - bicycle ride in Turkey, 2013-04-08

TBILISI, DFWatch--Despite having a broken arm, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili carried on his tour of Turkey Tuesday and met his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gül. On Sunday, Saakashvili crashed with a trailer in Antalya during his daily bicycle exercise.

In brief, News

Schwarzenberg tells Georgia Czech Republic can not mediate

by | April 9, 2013
Karel Schwarzenberg

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia only respects larger states, therefore the Czech Republic cannot be mediator between Georgia and Russia, Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Tuesday. The minister, who is visiting Georgia, said this at a joint press conference

In brief, News

April 9 remembered in Georgia, 24 years on

by | April 9, 2013
April 9 remembered 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--April 9 Georgia remembered that it was 24 years since Soviet troops dispersed a peaceful protest in Tbilisi, and 22 years since the day when Georgia restored its independence. People started arriving late night yesterday at the April 9 memorial

In brief, News

30 town officials in Sagarejo replaced

by | April 9, 2013
isfed-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) says people are still being fired for political reasons in Georgia and calls on the government to prevent it. The call comes after the dismissal of several employees of the local

In brief, News

PACE co-rapporteurs visiting Georgia

by | April 8, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Michael Aastrup Jensen and Boriss Cilevics from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will arrive in Georgia on Monday for a five-day visit. On Monday, the co-rapporteurs have planned to hold meetings with Prime Minister Bidzina

In brief, News

Six Georgians released by South Ossetia

by | April 6, 2013
c7957b475200c5ed05a487bfыыыыыыыыыыыыыfb133a89

TBILISI, DFWatch--The de facto government of Georgia’s breakaway region South Ossetia has released six Georgians who were detained for ‘illegally crossing the border.’ Two of them have been detained since September 19, 2012. Malkhaz Titvelashvili and Givi

In brief, News

Number of prisoners halved in Georgia

by | April 5, 2013
prison_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--The number of prisoners in Georgia was reduced by 56.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, according to the Ministry of Corrections. The number of prisoners has been a cause of alarm during the last years.

In brief, News

Uncertainty about Georgia’s participation in EU’s Mali mission

by | April 2, 2013
irakli alasania - soldiers

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is waiting for confirmation from the European Union about whether to send military advisers to Mali to assist the Union's mission there. Georgia told the EU in December it would contribute militarily to the fight against an Islamist insurgency

In brief, News

Third Georgian released by South Ossetia

by | March 29, 2013
c7957b475200c5ed05a487bfыыыыыыыыыыыыыfb133a89

Tbilisi, DFWatch - A Georgian was released from prison by the breakaway region South Ossetia Friday. This was the third Georgian prisoner to be released in the same number of days. The de facto authorities of the region on Friday released Ushangi Dotiashvili,

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MoD proposes draft law increasing accountability to Parliament

by | March 29, 2013
irakli-alasania

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Ministry of Defense prepared two draft laws which, it argues, will increase its accountability before the parliament. The draft is about public and secret procurement

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Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey plan closer cooperation

by | March 28, 2013
maya panjikidze - ilham aliyev - 2013-03-18

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Foreign ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey will be meeting on Thursday in Batumi, a city on the Black Sea coast.

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Missing fisherman found dead after storm

by | March 28, 2013
fishermen discovered dead body

TBILISI, DFWatch--The crew of a Georgian fishing boat Wednesday discovered the body of a man, 55, drifting in the Black Sea. The deceased, Davit Geladze, had been lost at sea during the storm of March 23 and was the subject of a search operation at the time his

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Saakashvili presents a list of five new ambassadors

by | March 26, 2013
file copy

Tbilisi, DFWatch -President Saakashvili on Monday presented parliament with a list of five new ambassadors. The candidates are Khatuna Salukvadze for Lithuania, Zurab Pataradze for Kazakhstan, Irakli Koplatadze for Turkey, Teimuraz Sharashenidze for Azerbaijan

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Two Georgian battalions depart for Afghanistan

by | March 22, 2013
georgian soldiers afghanistan isaf

TBILISI, DFWatch--The 33rd and 42nd battalions of Georgia’s III and IV infantry brigades are today getting ready to depart for Afghanistan to participate in NATO’s ISAF mission. According to the Defense Ministry, both battalions have been through a six-month

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US ambassador: Georgia has strong and competitive government

by | March 21, 2013
richard norland 2013-03-21

TBILISI, DFWatch--US Ambassador Richard Norland says Georgia has a strong and competitive government, a competitive parliament, independent media and justice system, and a strong and experienced opposition. Norland said this during a meeting in parliament Thursday.

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Georgia’s foreign minister visits Azerbaijan

by | March 19, 2013
maya panjikidze - ilham aliyev - 2013-03-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze on Tuesday met with the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to discuss bilateral relations and further cooperation. During her visit to Azerbaijan, Panjikidze also met with the prime minister

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Georgia confirms nine new ambassadors

by | March 19, 2013
defense_ministry

TBILISI, DFWatch--President of Georgia on Monday approved the list of nine new ambassadors, by signing the document which parliament passed February 20. The new ambassadors are those serving in Belgium, Ukraine, France, US, Hungary, Austria, Latvia, Czech Republic

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Storm hits Black Sea coast

by | March 18, 2013
storm Batumi 2013-03-18

TBILISI, DFWatch--A storm hit Georgia Sunday evening and is threatening to inflict damage. Rescue personnel are mobilized in several regions of the country. According to local media, the wind has a speed of 20 meters per second on the Black Sea coast in the Adjara

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Ivanishvili to address PACE

by | March 17, 2013
PACE

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s prime minister will participate at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from April 20. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will address the assembly, according to Tina Khidasheli, a member

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Robakidze video has been edited, examination shows

by | March 16, 2013
buta robakidze video

TBILISI, DFWatch--A forensic examination has concluded that a video clip of a police operation in 2004 which ended the life of Buta Robakidze has been edited. The Prosecutor’s Office on Friday published the results of an examination of the video, which was released

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Bushfire in southwest Georgia

by | March 16, 2013
fire adjara

TBILISI, DFWatch--Firefighters are trying to contain a bushfire that is spreading in the Adjara region in south western Georgia on the Black Sea shores, bur wind is making their work is made difficult. Journalists for the local newspaper Batumelebi and the news agency

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Snow blocks two roads in Georgia

by | March 15, 2013
snow road

TBILISI, DFWatch--A road in the Mtskheta region close to the capital is closed for all traffic after an avalanche. Also part of a road in Gudauri-Kobi in northern Georgia is blocked by masses of snow. The Road Department on Friday said clearance work is in progress.

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Time schedule for visa liberalization plan ready

by | March 15, 2013
alex_petriashvili_440x369

TBILISI, DFWatch--A time schedule for implementing the action plan for visa liberalization between Georgia and the EU has been confirmed. Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Alexi Petriashvili explained Thursday that the new agreement sets detailed goals for

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Over 8 000 prisoners were freed in Georgia amnesty

by | March 15, 2013
gldani prison guard tower

TBILISI, DFWatch--The prisoner amnesty in Georgia ended its term of execution March 13. 8 322 prisoners were freed in total. According to the Prison Ministry, about 800 cases are still pending review in court. Most of them are about charges of fraud, cases which

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Georgia asks Interpol to help catch ex-official

by | March 14, 2013
davit chakua - interpol notice

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia asks for help from Interpol in its search for a former government official. This time, the wanted note is about Davit Chakua, the former head of the prison department, who is charged with abuse of powers, humiliating and inhumane treatment,

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Prosecutors struggling to deal with flood of complaints

by | March 14, 2013
Archil Kbilashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has created a 12 member investigative group to deal with the mass of complaints flowing in. Chief Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili said on Wednesday that the group consists solely of young prosecutors who finished

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Doctors’ hunger strike over

by | March 14, 2013
doctors on hunger strike

TBILISI, DFWatch--Four fired doctors on Wednesday ended their week-long hunger strike after learning that the director of the emergency service where they worked has been removed from his position. The doctors started their protest March 6. They said had they

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Progress in prisoner exchange with Tskhinvali

by | March 13, 2013
ucha nanuashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--There are twelve Georgian prisoners in South Ossetia, a breakaway Georgian region, according to the public defender Ucha Nanuashvili. He told Pirveli Radio Wednesday that his office has received positive signal from non-government organizations in

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Merabishvili ‘connected’ to controversial 2006 killing

by | March 13, 2013
Vano Merabishvili

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia's chief prosecutor and justice minister claim that the long time former interior minister Vano Merabishvili was implicated in the killing of Sandro Girgvliani, a controversial murder committed by the police in 2006. Chief Prosecutor Archil

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Most visitors to Georgia come from neighboring countries

by | March 12, 2013
visitors 2006-2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The majority of foreign visitors to Georgia in 2013 came from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine and Iran. As there is no mechanism to categorize people crossing the border of the country, the government provides general information about

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Georgia ends use of consecutive sentence

by | March 8, 2013
city court in tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch--The parliament in Georgia on Friday decided to end the practice of mandatory consecutive sentence. Following the amendments to the Criminal Law code and Criminal Law Procedure Code, the longer sentence absorbs the shorter one; what is called

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Snow and ice is causing traffic problems in Georgia

by | March 4, 2013
snow road

TBILISI, DFWatch--The latest snowfall has made driving conditions so poor that the road from the winter resort Gudauri to the village Kobi has been closed for all traffic. On other roads there are restrictions from some types of traffic. Along the road section from

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Akhalaia to remain in detention

by | March 4, 2013
bacho akhalaia - tbilisi court v - 2013-02-28

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court on Saturday held pretrial hearing in two of the five criminal cases currently brought against former defense minister Bacho Akhalaia to decide on preventive measures before the trial. For the third time, Akhalaia was given pretrial

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Prosecutor lost appeal in Tbilisi mayor’s case

by | March 2, 2013
gigi-ugulava

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Prosecutor’s Office lost its appeal about issuing bail conditions for Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava in a case about money laundering and embezzlement. The Appeals Court refused to set a one million GEL (USD 600 000) bail for mayor and suspend him

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Russia and Georgia discussed visa rules

by | March 2, 2013
zurab abashidze -

TBILISI, DFWatch--One of the main topics of conversation when Georgia and Russia met in Prague yesterday was whether Russia will simplify visa rules for Georgian citizens. (Article has been updated with comments from Russia's foreign ministry.) The two countries

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Saakashvili reaffirms Georgia’s close ties with neighbor Azerbaijan

by | March 1, 2013
sandra roelofs - mikheil saakashvili - ilham aliyev - mehriban aliyeva - 2013-02-28

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili says no matter who is in government, the country will continue the same foreign policy course, also in relations with neighboring Azerbaijan. The Georgian leader visited Azerbaijan for two days and held meetings with his

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Georgia and Russia meet today in Prague

by | March 1, 2013
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TBILISI, DFWatch--Representatives of Georgia and Russia meet in Prague today to discuss trade, cultural and transport issues. The countries still have no formal relations after fighting a war in 2008. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili a few months ago appointed Zurab

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Saakashvili visits Azerbaijan

by | February 27, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - in london 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili today starts a two day visit to Azerbaijan. The visit will take place on February 27-28 and includes a personal meeting with Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev, according to the Georgian president's press office.

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EU and Georgia agree on visa action plan

by | February 26, 2013
cecilia malmstrom - maya panjikidze - 2013-02-25

TBILISI, DFWatch--EU has agreed with Georgia about a visa action plan that may one day allow Georgians to enter Europe without a visa. But first, the country must pass through a set of requirements in data safety, border management, migration, public order, security

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Ugulava free without bail

by | February 25, 2013
gigi ugulava  ii - 2013-02-23

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court did not listen to a plea from the Prosecutor's Office to suspend Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Uglava from his position. Neither did it set bail conditions. Monday, the court reviewed the charges against Ugulava, a member of President

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Georgia and Russia to meet in Prague for direct talks

by | February 25, 2013
zurab abashidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and Russia will meet for a second round of direct talks in Prague on March 1. The two countries have still not established formal relations following a brief war in 2008. Georgia's envoy, Zurab Abashidze, told journalists Monday that they will

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Ex-minister involved in an unexpected killing released on bail

by | February 24, 2013
lado Vardzelashvili detained

TBILISI, DFWatch -A former sports minister detained for being involved in a fatal gun accident that killed his friend was Saturday released on GEL 3,000 (USD 1,800) bail by Tbilisi court, along with two other men charged for the same incident. Lado Vardzelashvili, former sports

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Lawmakers in Georgia discuss using national dress

by | February 23, 2013
zviad dzidziguri - bidzina gujabidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Lawmakers in Georgia Friday discussed a proposal to allow members of the assembly to wear the national dress Chokha while in parliament. The bill is the initiative of Bidzina Gujabidze from the Conservative Party, who argues that the physical

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Akhalaia expected in court today

by | February 20, 2013
bacho-axalaia-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--Tbilisi City Court today holds pretrial hearing in the case against Saakashvili loyalist Bacho Akhalaia and other former government officials. The hearing has been rescheduled several times on request by the Chief Prosecutor. Wednesday's hearings

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Cecilia Malmström to visit Georgia

by | February 19, 2013
news_26510

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will visit Georgia and bring action plan for visa liberalization issues on February 24. Maia Panjikidze, Foreign Affair Minister on Tuesday met with the National Movement members in parliament

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Georgia gets new business ombudsman

by | February 19, 2013
giorgi gakharia - appointed as business ombudsman 2013-02-19

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili Tuesday appointed a new business ombudsman. He said this will make it easier for them to make the government aware of problems they may have. The announcement took place at a meeting with business

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Foreign experts to study high profile cases

by | February 18, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili 2013-02-17

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of foreign experts is to monitor ongoing high profile criminal cases in Georgia. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who took the initiative, told journalists that President Mikheil Saakashvili has agreed to establishing the group. Another

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UNDP chief visits Georgia

by | February 17, 2013
Helen Clark

TBILISI, DFWatch--UNDP chief Helen Clark is expected in Georgia February 17 for a three-day visit. According to the UNDP, the organization's administrator will hold meetings with government officials and representatives of local and international organizations. She

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Ivanishvili visiting Turkey

by | February 14, 2013
bidzina-ivanishvili-2012-11-22-press-conf-300x251

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian head of government Bidzina Ivanishvili is on a one-day visit to Turkey accompanied by some of his ministers. According to the prime minister's press office, the delegation plans to hold meetings with Turkey's president, prime minister

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Court to consider forcing mayor to come for questioning

by | February 14, 2013
gigi-ugulava

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian Interior Ministry appeals to Tbilisi City Court asking for it to issue a court order requiring the Tbilisi mayor to appear for questioning. Mayor Ugulava has been asked repeatedly to come to the police and talk about the violence outside

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Panetta briefed Alasania about Afghanistan plans

by | February 13, 2013
leon panetta

TBILISI, DFWatch--The US Secretary of Defense Tuesday called Georgia’s Defense Minister and introduced him to the US action plan for Afghanistan. The main topic of conversation between Leon Panetta and Irakli Alasania was what kind of new functions the Georgian

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Minibus drivers in Batumi are on strike

by | February 12, 2013
yellow minibuses

TBILISI, DFWatch--A correspondent for Interpressnews in the Black Sea port reports that 350 drivers have been on strike from Tuesday morning, demanding an increase in their salary. Drivers say their hourly pay is USD 2.20 and want to increase it to USD 2.50, otherwise

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Georgia and Turkey plan defense cooperation

by | February 12, 2013
irakli-alasania

TBILISI, DFWatch--The prime minister and defense minister of Georgia will go to Turkey this week to discuss relations between the two neighboring countries. Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said on Monday that he and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili will go to Turkey

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Informal Eastern Partnership talks in Georgia

by | February 12, 2013
Maya Panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia will host the session of the informal dialogue within the Eastern Partnership February 12 and 13. Georgia's Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze and Economy Minister Giorgi Kbirikashvili will host the event, according to the press office

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Saakashvili to negotiate with government today

by | February 11, 2013
saakashvili-palace

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian president will meet with the speaker of parliament in the evening today to discuss topics which lie at the base of a protracted dispute between the two main political blocs. Member of parliament Giorgi Gabashvili from the minority

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Two people fined for Friday’s violence

by | February 11, 2013
Irakli Gharibashvili - National Library - 2013-02-08 IPN

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office asks Tbilisi City Court to impose pre-trial measures against Gela Mamaladze, the man who is accused of beating opposition members outside the National Library on Friday.

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Georgia and South Korea sign visa treaty

by | February 8, 2013
Nikoloz Apkhazava - Anh Ho-young

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia and South Korea have signed their first inter-governmental treaty about visa free travel for citizens holding diplomatic, official and service passports. The agreement on the waiving of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic, official

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Saakashvili to address the nation today

by | February 8, 2013
mikheil_saakashvili_state_of_the_nation7_2012-155x129

Tbilisi, DF Watch - The President of Georgia will address the nation at 18:00 today from the National Library. The diplomatic corps, church leaders, journalists and students are invited to attend the event. After his speech, the president will answer questions.

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Saakashvili to hold state of the nation address from library

by | February 8, 2013
mikheil_saakashvili_state_of_the_nation3_2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili will address the nation from the National Library instead of from parliament. Saakashvili should have held his annual address on Friday, but the event was postponed by the ruling Georgian Dream coalition.

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President’s annual address postponed

by | February 7, 2013
davit usupashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The president’s annual speech to parliament is postponed indefinitely. This is a decision made by the ruling coalition. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili today said consultations had been held and a decision was made to not hold

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Georgia to set up three new investment funds

by | February 6, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili v 2013-02-05

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Three new funds will be established in Georgia, which will be sovereign fund of Georgia, a private investment fund and a youth fund. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili at a press conference Tuesday briefly outlined the three new funds, saying that

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Saakashvili in Germany for Marshall Fund conference

by | February 5, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - jet

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili and Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava have left for Germany to participate in a conference organized by the German Marshall Fund. According to the president's press office, there is planned an event called

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Saakashvili to address parliament February 8

by | February 3, 2013
mikheil_saakashvili_state_of_the_nation3_2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- President Mikheil Saakashvili's annual address to parliament will take place on February 8, 2013. “As a result of consultations, a decision was made that the president's annual speech, defined by the constitution, will take place at 14:00 Friday

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Moscow denies talks with Georgia about CIS return

by | February 1, 2013
kremlin

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Moscow denies rumors about ongoing negotiations with Georgia to bring the country back as member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The rumors were reported a few days ago in Russian media. Alexander Lukashevich, spokesperson for

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Ex minister risks 15 years for making fake cognac

by | February 1, 2013
davit kezerashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Another official from Mikheil Saakashvili’s government was Wednesday charged with abuse of powers and bribery. The Finance Ministry’s investigative service accuses former Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili of assisting a criminals gang with

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Agreement about foreign policy course

by | January 31, 2013
davit usupashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The governing Georgian Dream coalition is ready to cooperate with the opposition about the foreign policy. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili said this on Wednesday after Saakashvili’s party accused the prime minister and his party

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Wants guarantees for Georgia’s western course

by | January 30, 2013
giorgi baramidze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- President Mikheil Saakashvili's National Movement party wants to tie Georgia to the mast in terms of the course of its foreign policy. Spokesperson Giorgi Baramidze Wednesday presented a draft bill that will write into legislation what the

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BA cancels flights to Georgia

by | January 30, 2013
British Airways

TBILISI, DFWatch -- British Airways will temporarily cancel its flights to Georgia from April 1, 2013, spokesperson Irakli Gordeli told journalists on Monday. The airline started flights to Georgia in 2012. Gordeli said they made this decision in the beginning

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Flights to Tbilisi canceled due to fog

by | January 28, 2013
tbilisi airport

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Tbilisi international airport on Monday had to cancel or divert several incoming international and local flights due to heavy fog. One flight from Moscow (04:00 pm) was delayed, while a flight from Ekaterinburg (10:20 pm) is canceled, as well as a

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Three Georgian soldiers wounded in Afghanistan

by | January 25, 2013
afghanistan shooting incident Jan 24, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Three Georgian soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan when insurgents opened fire as they were out on patrol. Corporal Erekle Kharshiladze and Junior Sergeant Iaho Kakulia received minor injuries. According to the Georgian Defense Ministry,

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Georgia and Russia to meet at PACE spring session

by | January 25, 2013
Tedo Japaridze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Representatives of Georgia and Russia will meet at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Tedo Japaridze, head of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, told journalists about the planned meeting on Thursday

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Medvedev and Ivanishvili’s 2-minute chat

by | January 25, 2013
Maya Panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze on Thursday confirmed that the prime ministers of Russia and Georgia met unofficially in Davos. Panjikidze told journalists in Davos that Bidzina Ivanishvili and Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday met

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Ivanishvili and Medvedev meet at Davos

by | January 24, 2013
bidzina ivanishvili in davos 2013-01-24

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The Georgian and Russian Prime Ministers met for the first time in Davos Thursday and had a several minutes long conversation. This is the first time heads of government of the two countries have met since diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia

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Georgian patriarch met Putin

by | January 24, 2013
Ilia II

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Patriarch Illia II on Wednesday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and passed on greetings from Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Vladimir Putin hosted Illia II and Kirill I of Russia at suburban residence in Novo

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Canada and Georgia sign defense agreement

by | January 24, 2013
Christopher R. Kilford - Davit Nardaia - 2013-01-23

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia and Canada Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding about defense policy. The agreement was signed by Colonel Christopher R. Kilford and Davit Nardaia, Chairman of Georgia’s International Affairs and EU Integration Department at

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Saakashvili era foreign policy deputy resigns

by | January 22, 2013
Nikoloz Vashakidze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze resigned on Tuesday, citing incompatibility with the current foreign policy of the country. Vashakidze is one of the officials who have stayed over from the previous government. He

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Georgian patriarch Ilia II visiting Moscow

by | January 21, 2013
ilia ii moscow 2013-01-20

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia’s Patriarch Illia II on Sunday left for Russia to receive an award. His visit will also include a meeting with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. “I want to ask you that I leave for Moscow and we will have a conversation on very

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Political prisoners were blessed by the patriarch

by | January 19, 2013
politpatimrebis dalocva

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Political prisoners, who were released last Sunday when the new amnesty law came into force, visited the Georgian Patriarch, who blessed them. The prisoners came to Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi to attend the prayer for the Orthodox holiday of Epiphany,

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Saakashvili loses security force

by | January 19, 2013
special_police

TBILISI,DFWatch -- The Special State Protection Service of Georgia is now under the control of the government, and not the president. Parliament passed the law by 88 votes against 1 on Thursday. Earlier, the president had a right to appoint the chair of the Special

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Tbilisi vice mayor released on bail

by | January 18, 2013
shota khizanishvili

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A former Interior Ministry top was Thursday released on bail. Shota Khizanishvili, who after the National Movement's election loss became Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi, was included in a mass amnesty which applies to more than 18 500 prisoners. The

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Rikoti tunnel closed for repair work

by | January 17, 2013
Rikoti tunnel - Photo Ministry of Regional Development and Infrasctructure

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The Rikoti tunnel, which connects the western and eastern parts Georgia, will be closed from January 18 to January 30, from 20:00 in the evening until 08:00 in the morning, because of work to repair the electric system.

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Ex intelligence official detained for abuse of powers

by | January 16, 2013
handcuffed

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Police in Georgia have detained a regional director of the feared domestic intelligence service, the Constitutional Security Department (CSD). Temur Pataridze, who headed the CSD (in Georgian abbreviated to KUD, or 'Kudi') in the Autonomous

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UK has new temporary ambassador to Georgia

by | January 16, 2013
David Moran

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Ambassador David Moran on January 14 began work as the temporary trustee of the UK to Georgia, the UK embassy in Tbilisi informs. On his arrival, Moran said he was pleased to be in Georgia and to start working and living in this beautiful country.

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21 Georgians detained in France for bank card theft

by | January 15, 2013
france arrested

TBILISI, DFWatch -- French gendarmes have detained 21 Georgians suspected of cooperation with Russian mafia. According to reports in French media, they are accused of stealing hundreds of bank cards and attempting to break into accounts and steal money. The operation

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Orthodox church leaders leaving Georgia

by | January 14, 2013
bidzina-ivanishvili-patriarch-ilia-ii-2013-01-13

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Clerics from different Orthodox countries will leave today, Monday. The guests arrived five days ago in order to congratulate Georgian Patriarch Ilia II with his 80th birthday and 35th year since his inauguration. Patriarch Bartholomew I of

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Saakashvili wants a doubling of pensions for veterans

by | January 12, 2013
mikheil saakashvili - -

TBILISI, DFWatch -- President Mikheil Saakashvili has presented a new initiative to double pensions for veterans and allocate permanent pensions for families of soldiers and policemen who have died in the line of duty. The president's administration has prepared a

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Three Russian climbers dead in avalanche

by | January 10, 2013
Elbrus

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Four Russian climbers have been taken by an avalanche in the Kazbegi mountains in northern Georgia. One has been brought to safety alive, the other three are presumed dead. Rescue workers have been unable to find their bodies because of thick fog. The four

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Jubilee brings congregation of world church leaders to Tbilisi

by | January 8, 2013
ilia_ii_and_bidzina_ivanishvili_2011-11-15_03

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A large number of clerics from different Orthodox countries will start gathering in Tbilisi tomorrow to mark the 80-year jubilee of the Georgian Patriarch Illia II. Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople is among the guests arriving in Georgia

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Heavy snow fall in Georgia

by | January 7, 2013
White Christmas. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch -- There are restrictions on road traffic in northern Georgia due to heavy snow fall. There is danger of landslide on the road between Kobi and Gudauri, a resort in Kazbegi the mountains, and along the road Mtskheta-Stepandtsminda-Larsi, due to a snow

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Two Alilo processions in Tbilisi

by | January 7, 2013
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Tbilisi, DF Watch - Georgia marks Christmas on January 7 by Julian calendar by two major picturesque processions in Tbilisi and many other towns of Georgia. Alilo, a Christmas chant, is organized almost in each district and regions of the country.

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Ilia II to receive religious award

by | January 4, 2013
ilia_ii

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Patriarch Ilia II will visit Russia in the end of January to receive a special award. He is to receive the Russian Church’s International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations, which is granted annually as a recognition

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Georgia becomes chair of GUAM

by | January 3, 2013
maya_panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- From January 1, 2013, Georgia holds the chairmanship of GUAM, an international organization between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. After assuming leadership Tuesday, Georgia presented a program to other member states. Georgia’s

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Crime is under control, says government

by | December 31, 2012
mia_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The crime situation in Georgia stabilized in December, as the number of criminal incidents has been significantly reduced, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. During a visit to a family who had been attacked by robbers, President Mikheil

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Another Stalin statue goes up in Georgia

by | December 31, 2012
stalin monument - Akura

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A statue of Josef Stalin which had been torn down has been put up again in a village in eastern Georgia. Locals in Akura restored the monument of the Soviet dictator two years after it was taken down. Villagers rehabilitated the monument to

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Saakashvili presents downsized amnesty bill

by | December 28, 2012
Mikheil_Saakashvili_blue_suit

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has vetoed the coming into force of a law on amnesty, and sent his own version of the law to parliament. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili on Friday said the legislative body has received the president's

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Ivanishvili and Aliyev discussed energy export

by | December 26, 2012
ilham aliyev - ilham aliyev 2012-12-26

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili Tuesday met the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, during an official visit to Baku. The two held a closed meeting which took place at Aliyev’s Zagulba palace. Also present were Georgia's Foreign

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Earthquake hits Georgia again

by | December 26, 2012
earthquake kobuleti

TBILISI, DFWatch -- An earthquake hit Georgia Wednesday morning; the second one in three days. Two strong quakes were felt early morning December 26, at 02:44 and 03:00 am. According to the seismic monitoring center, the strength of the earthquakes were 5.5 and

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Georgian sailors returning home

by | December 25, 2012
panama sailors maria del carmen 2

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The twelve Georgian sailors who have been adrift on a ship abandoned by its owner off the coast of Panama are returning home. The sailors aboard the Maria del Carmen 2, sailing under a Nigerian flag, were rescued by staff at the Georgian embassy

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Georgia sends rescue team to Afghanistan

by | December 25, 2012
Georgian_ISAF_soldiers_Afghanistan

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A military search team left for Afghanistan on Monday in order to search for a Georgian soldier who has been missing for almost a week. The team is headed by the deputy chief of the Joint Staff. ISAF isalready  conducting a search and rescue

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Georgia’s Interior Ministry auctions off luxury cars

by | December 24, 2012
black cars - interior ministry

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia’s Interior Ministry has decided to put its luxurious cars up for auction. The new leadership at the ministry has prepared around 50 cars for sale, and models range from Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Vogue, to BMW

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Phone outage after earthquake in Georgia

by | December 23, 2012
seismogram

TBILISI, DFWatch -- There was an earthquake in Georgia on Sunday, causing minor damage in parts of the country. According to the national seismic monitoring center, the earthquake struck at 17:31 local time and had a magnitude of 5.7. The epicenter was 46 km

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Saakashvili addresses party, delegates return to parliament

by | December 23, 2012
mikheil saakashvili - 2012-12-23 i

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The National Movement party of President Mikheil Saakashvili will return to parliament on Monday. This became clear at a party conference Sunday. The president addressed his party's activists and tried to fire them up as they are

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Georgia gives 3 500 prisoners amnesty

by | December 22, 2012
prison_tower

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The parliament in Georgia has finally passed an amnesty law which will mean that 3500 prisoners will be released. The goal of the bill is to soften the crime policy. It aims to achieve this by releasing some prisoners and halving the sentence for others.

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Kitsmarishvili fined for damaging Maestro’s equipment

by | December 22, 2012
erosi_kitsmarishvili_220x185

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A court has fined the former manager of Maestro TV, Erosi Kitsmarishvili, with USD 845 204 for damaging equipment belonging to the TV company one year ago. November 30, 2011 Erosi Kitsmarishvili and a group of strangers scaled the walls of

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ICC to investigate 2008 Georgia-Russia war

by | December 20, 2012
2008_war_soldier

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The International Criminal Court (ICC) is considering launching an investigation into the war between Georgia and Russia in August 2008. The Justice Ministry of Georgia on Wednesday released a statement which says that in accordance with Georgia's international

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Ivanishvili looks forward to meeting Putin

by | December 19, 2012
bidzina ivanishvili 2012-11-22 - press conf 4

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili hopes to meet with the Russian leaders Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev in the future. Recently Georgia's special representative for Russian relations met the deputy foreign minister of Russia in Geneva.

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Okruashvili is on hunger strike

by | December 18, 2012
irakli okruashvili 2012-12-10

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A former defense minister who is in prison awaiting trial has gone on hunger strike. Irakli Okruashvili, who is charged with abuse of powers and extortion, says he is doing it to express solidarity with ten other prisoners who didn’t make

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Friends of Buta Robakidze will not be prosecuted

by | December 17, 2012
city court in tbilisi

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Tbilisi City Court has ruled out that there will be criminal charges brought against the friends of Buta Robakidze, who was killed by police in 2004. November 24, 2004 Giorgi Kurdadze, Kakhaber Azariashvili and Akaki Bartaia, all friends of

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Stranded Georgian sailors plan lawsuit in Panama

by | December 17, 2012
sailors - pan

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The Georgian sailors who are stranded off the coast of Panama plan a lawsuit at the marine court in that country. The twelve Georgian sailors on a ship sailing under Nigerian flag plan to file the suit on Monday if their demands aren’t met. “The temperature is

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Traffic restrictions after first snowfall

by | December 16, 2012
snow

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The season's first snowfall has led to restrictions on traffic several places in Georgia. The snow is causing problems in the Kakheti region, in east Georgia. Local media also report that ice is making it difficult for people to move around

In brief, News

Georgia and Russia’s first step towards mending relations

by | December 15, 2012
zurab abashidze -

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia and Russia representatives on Friday agreed to continue the dialogue. Zurab Abashidze, the Prime Minister’s special representative for Russian relations, and Gregory Karasin, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, on Friday met in Geneva.

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US supports Georgia having direct talks with Russia

by | December 13, 2012
thomas o melia 2012-12-12

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The US supports Georgia's decision to start direct talks with Russia, Thomas O. Melia, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said Thursday. Melia, whose full title is U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor,

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Georgia and Russia plan rare meeting Friday

by | December 13, 2012
Grigory Karasin

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The two countries fought a brief war in August 2008. Tomorrow they will meet face to face for the first time. The meeting will take place on neutral ground in Geneva, Switzerland, on the sidelines of periodic talks between the sides in that war.

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U.S. monitoring how Ivanishvili and Saakashvili cooperate

by | December 13, 2012
tomas melia 2012-12-12

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The U.S. is closely monitoring the transition of power from President Saakashvili's National Movement to Prime Minister Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition. Also subject to scrutiny is how well the two political blocs are working together,

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MP investigated for beating of businessman

by | December 12, 2012
police

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A member of parliament from Saakashvili's National Movement party is being called in for questioning regarding the beating of a businessman. According to the prosecutor's office, Paata Lezhava on September 23, 2012 beat businessman

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U.S. officials visit Georgia

by | December 12, 2012
state_dep

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Two U.S. government officials arrived in Georgia Wednesday as part of a tour of the Caucasus. Thomas Melia from the State Department and Catherine Newcombe from the Department of Justice, will meet with Georgian government officials, media and

In brief, News

Georgia to chair GUAM in 2013

by | December 10, 2012
maya_panjikidze

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgia will have the chairmanship of GUAM in 2013. Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze said at Monday's regular briefing that Georgia was officially appointed in Dublin a few days ago, at a session of the GUAM foreign minister council.

In brief, News

Saakashvili criticizes government’s handling of NATO

by | December 7, 2012
mikheil_saakashvili

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says the meeting of the NATO-Georgia commission on Wednesday was not a step forward for the country. Saakashvili made the comment during a working visit to Poland. “Unfortunately, we didn't see

In brief, News

Rasmussen says NATO will not interfere in detention cases

by | December 6, 2012
anders_fogh_rasmussen_in_Georgia_September_2012

TBILISI, DFWatch -- NATO will not interfere in the legal process in Georgia in regard to the recent detentions of former government officials, the alliance's Secretary General says. After summing up a meeting of the NATO-Georgia commission in Brussels, Anders

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Georgian patriarch hosts Israeli ambassador

by | December 6, 2012
patriarch Ilia II - Yuval Fuchs - 2012-12-05

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Georgian Patriarch Ilia II hosted Israeli Ambassador Yuval Fuchs and his wife at the Patriarch's residence in Mtskheta, close to the capital. Fuchs thanked Illia II for his merits in deepening relations between the two states in regards to

In brief, News

Rasmussen comments on Georgia

by | December 5, 2012
anders fogh rasmussen 2012-11-14

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Bucharest decision that Georgia will become a member of NATO stands if Georgia fulfills necessary criteria, NATO Secretary General states. Anders Fogh Rasmussen was speaking at a press conference after a meeting of the NATO-Russia

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Court detains Data Akhalaia in absentia

by | December 4, 2012
data akhalaia

TBILISI, DFWatch -- A former Interior Ministry official has been sentenced to pre-trial detention in absentia. Data Akhalaia, former chair of the feared Constitutional Security Department of the Interior Ministry, is charged, together with Soso Topuridze and Geronti

In brief, News

Weapons cache discovered in Tbilisi

by | December 4, 2012
weapons cache 2012-12-03

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Military Police in Georgia have seized about a hundred weapons of different types at an apartment in Tbilisi. Vako Avaliani, Advisor to the Defense Minister, on Monday said the weapons were not registered. The ministry learned about the location

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Seven die in road accident

by | December 4, 2012
road accident Imereti traffic 2012-12-03

TBILISI, DFWatch -- Seven persons died Monday evening in a car accident in Western Georgia, according to the Interior Ministry. In a statement the ministry writes that the accident took place at about 20:00 in the village Tseva, in the Imereti region. A truck

In brief, News

NATO foreign ministers meeting in Brussels

by | December 3, 2012
nato_flag

TBILISI, DFWatch -- NATO's Foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels December 4 and 5. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO Secretary General, will chair the meeting. Maia Panjikidze, Georgia's Foreign Affairs Minister arrived in Brussels Monday evening

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Justice Minister in doubt about charges against ex-official

by | December 3, 2012
mia_shark

TBILISI, DFWatch -- The court released a former interior ministry official on bail until the trial, in the most controversial case among the recent detentions. Tengiz Gunava on Sunday was sentenced to pay USD 6 000 bail. First he was detained for illegal possession

In brief, News

New round of Georgia-EU free trade talks

by | November 27, 2012
mfa

TBILISI, DFWatch -- EU-Georgia today opened the fourth round of negotiations of the proposed Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) in Brussels. In parallel, the twelfth session of negotiations of Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU was also

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