Georgia News

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The reconstruction of the runway at Tbilisi airport will be financed by the France's ADPI, Georgian Finance Minister Zurab Pololikashvili said after attending a meeting between a representative of the Gruzaeronavigatsia company and the French company. "The French government has alloacted 705,037 euros to be spent on the research and redesign of the runway at Tbilisi international airport. The reconstruction will be executed by the Paris airport services," Pololikashvili said, as quoted by Georgia Online.

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Georgia has released two Russian border guards detained for illegally crossing the border "near the Galsky region, controlled by Georgian forces," a Georgian official said on Wednesday. The head of the analytic department of the Ministry for Home Affairs of Georgia, Shota Utiashvili, made the announcement just before the start of meeting on the prevention of incidents in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone. The representatives of Georgia, Abkhazia, Russia, EU and the UN will take part in the meeting, which will be hosted by Utiashvili.

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The head of the rescue service in the Georgian city of Batumi has died in an explosion, reports Trend. According to police, the car carrying Dmitry Kordzaya and officer Badri Lamparadze suddenly exploded in the center of the city. Kordzaya died at the scene, and Lamparadze was taken to hospital.  An investigation is underway into the cause of the blast. A bomb has not been ruled out.

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18 local and 4 international non-governmental organizations willmonitor the elections in Georgia on May 30th. They have alreadysubmitted their requests to the Central Electoral Commission, Trendreports.

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The Georgian Minister of Economic Development Zurab Popolikashvilivisited Uzbekistan to meet with management at the Asian Bank ofDevelopment, Georgia Times reports.Popolikashvili met the first deputy head of Uzbekistan's government,Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov and Minister of Foreign EconomicTies Eler Ganiyev.This is the first top-level visit to Tashkent by a highly-placedGeorgian official in recent years.

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In the first quarter of 2010 export from Georgia  increased by 54% in comparison with the first quarter of 2009 and by 3% in comparison with 2008, reports Business Georgia with reference to  information spread by Georgian authorities. As of import rate, in the first quarter of 2010 it has increased be 6% in comparison with 2009 and decreased by 27 %, compared with 2008. In the first quarter of 2010, the trade deficit, compared with 2009 decreased by 8.7%, and compared with 2008 by 37%.

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The new Lithuanian ambassador to Georgia, Jonas Paslauskas, has arrived in Tbilisi, Rosbalt said.The former ambassador was withdrawn because of his political statements concerning the internal policies of Lithuania.

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South Ossetia has accepted a request by the delegation of the EuropeanCouncil to release three Georgian citizens. "During my visit I managed to receive a positive reaction to my requests from both sides, so I understood that I have an opportunity to return here", Interfax quotes Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg.He pointed out that the three Georgian citizens, detained for illegal logging in the Leningorsk district of South Ossetia in 2009, would be handed over to the Georgian side.

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Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri is visiting Kutaisi today to mark the city's anniversary, Georgia today reports.He is due to open several new sites, including the renovated railwaystation building and a new sports center. Over three thousand guests, including members of foreign delegations, have been invited to the celebration. A grand concert given by Nino Katamadze will close the day. A free industrial zone is to be created in Kutaisi. An agreement on this has been signed with the Egyptian company "Fresh Electric".

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The Council of the European  commissioner on Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg will pay a working visit to South Ossetia."During the visit, CE Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg intends to obtain information concerning the circumstances of the capture of  the seven missing South Ossetia’s citizens, as well as about their fate after the capture, obtained by the South Ossetian side,"  reports Interfax citing the South Ossetian President’s ombudsman David Sanakoyev.

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US embassy officials will hand over equipment to the Georgian InteriorMinistry at an official ceremony in Tbilisi today, Georgia Timesreports.The equipment is intended for the ministry's centres forcounter-terrorism, special operations, and border control, as well asfor it academy.

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The US consulate simplified the visa issuing procedure for Georgia today. The US embassy reports that 3 forms will be replaced with a D-160 form. Registration of Georgians wishing to visit the USA will only be carried out online, Georgia Online reports.

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Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze will visit Syria on May 1-2.Vashadze will meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign MinisterValid al-Mualim and other officials, Trend reports.They will sign cooperation protocols. Vashadze will sign a cooperationagreement in the sphere of tourism with Syrian Minister of TourismSaadalakh aga al-Kal. He also plans to visit Kazakhstan on May 6.

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The Georgian and Azerbaijani ministers of economic development havesigned a protocol concluding bilateral negotiations on joining theWTO, which gives access for goods and services of the two countries tothe market. The document was signed after a meeting of GeorgianPremier Nicoloz Gilauri with Azerbaijani Minister of EconomicDevelopment Shakhim Mustafayev.

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Council of Europe human rights commissioner Thomas Hammarberg arrivesin Tbilisi today. According to Trend the program of the visit has not beenrevealed yet.Preliminary information says that Hammarberg will meet the localauthorities in Tskhinvali. His main objective is the release of peopledetained by Georgia and Ossetia since the Russian-Georgian war inAugust 2008.

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Georgia will hold a seasons of Armenian culture program on May 3-5within the Armenian-Georgian cooperation program, News Armeniareports, citing the press-service of Armenia's Ministry of Culture.

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Restoring diplomatic relations with Russia is possible, the leader ofAlliance in the name of Georgia Irakli Alasania said at a meeting withteaching staff of the Diplomatic Academy, Trend reports.He believes that the main problem for national interests in the regionis Russia. But improving relations will complicate westernintegration, Europe and the USA point out.

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The National Azerbaijani Oil Company (SOCAR) will invest about $50mln in Georgia this year, reports Trend, citing the head of the company Mahir Mamedov, reports Trend. The development of Georgian-Azerbaijani business cooperation was discussed at a business forum hosted by Georgia. Mamedov participated in the forum as a chairman of the Azerbaijani Entrepreneurs Association in Georgia.

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